With its eye-catching design and seamless integration with the iTunes Music Store download service, Apple's iPod has taken the portable-music market by storm. But once you get beyond the iPod's distinctive, sexy styling and crack open its case, you'll find a collection of off-the-shelf components not all that different from those used in other personal media players.
In-wall speakers have come a long way since the first models, which were essentially re-purposed car-stereo speakers. That dramatic improvement over the past decade is due largely to the boom in "architectural" audio products driven by the advent of flat-panel TVs, any-room home theater systems, and whole-house audio.
Bob Chapek President, Buena Vista Home Entertainment Because of his position at Buena Vista, which is responsible for the home-video products for the various Walt Disney companies, Bob Chapek has been a tireless advocate for Blu-ray Disc.
Jarring juxtapositions of technology and design might work for the sets in a Tim Burton movie, but they usually don't for someone's home. Many custom installers find that adding high-tech gear to an older house with a well-defined architectural style can be daunting because the technology can clash with or overpower the traditional design.