Since the news release involves Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), you can bet it'll get played well in the press. You can't turn a newspaper page these days without feeling embarrassed for yet another year-late feature-page journalist jumping on the "iPod nation" story.

That's why I find yesterday's news about Apple's adoption of next generation DVD Blu-ray to be so interesting. This, for once, is big news. Cupertino will join the consortium, led by Sony (NYSE:SNE) and populated by other industry leaders such as Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ).

Personally, I knew it was only a matter of time before Apple announced that it would join Blu-ray. Say what you want about the cult of personality in Cupertino (and I do). One thing it doesn't do is sign onto inferior technology, such as Blu-ray's competitor HD-DVD. But until Apple's announcement, I hadn't found a compelling investment idea in the whole Blu-ray arena. Now I'm starting to wonder.

Is Apple the smart Blu-ray play? I normally don't like to work too much speculation into an investment thesis, but I'm going to do it here anyway. While the official press release touts the format's benefits for Mac users who like to cut their own video, Blu-ray, with its promise of major storage capacity (50 gigs per disc) as well as simultaneous read-write capability, can be much more than just next year's DVD drive.

It will give Apple access to and a voice in the premier next-generation computer and multimedia storage technology. The much hoped-for multimedia PC -- better envisioned as a home entertainment hub -- that people are hoping to see from Apple? It would be a much better bet with Blu-ray.

With 50-gig discs, hard drive space ceases to be much of an issue. That would make it easier to market home entertainment hubs. Now imagine a machine that will let you watch simultaneous streams of video, while recording, and allow you to pop the discs into your laptop or any other Blu-ray set-top box? Now imagine that it works as simply as iTunes. See where I'm headed?

While I'm swilling the absinthe, let's add one more wish to the pile. Apple uses a portion of its cash hoard to buy popular but unprofitable TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO), thereby giving it access to that company's well-loved brand, as well as its streamlined user experience.

Of course, this remains just rank speculation, but it's clear that so far, the PC makers out there have come up with nothing but failures in their attempts to concoct a home entertainment hub. If Apple were working on such a creature, it could rewrite the entire home entertainment industry. Apple's joining the Blu-ray party might just be the first glimpse of a very different future.

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Seth Jayson is now the most self-superior Mac-daddy dandy on his commute. He's got an iPod Shuffle -- complete with $30 armband -- going into one ear and an iPod U2 on the dash of his VW bug. But he has no position in any firm mentioned here. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here.