Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Thursday, February 21, 2008

In-Home Networked Consumer Electronics

A home communications network is slowly becoming a mainstream phenomenon. We are in the multimedia phase of home networking that has begun to blend in networked consumer electronics (CE) devices, or networked media devices, according to the latest market study by In-Stat.

That said, the market has been trying to move past the early-adopter stage, but this has not been occurring very quickly, the high-tech market research firm says. Although In-Stat's consumer research shows that there has been progress, the majority of consumers still only use their home network for Internet sharing.

"Improvement is still needed when it comes to consumer awareness of the new breed of PC and non-PC network-capable media devices (Media Center PCs, CE media servers, digital media adapters, digital media receivers or players)," says Joyce Putscher, In-Stat analyst.

"To date, non-PC network-enabled stationary media devices have been dominated by game consoles. However, the vast majority of non-PC network-enabled stationary devices are not currently used to stream audio and video multimedia streams from room to room."

The In-Stat research covers the worldwide market for home networking. The focus of this research is multimedia functionality that bridges the gap between the network established for PCs and non-PC stationary CE devices in the home. Worldwide forecasts through 2011 for each market segment are provided, from consumer PCs to non-PC network-enabled stationary media devices.

Non-PC forecasts provide network-enabled units and segmentations for wired-only and wireless. Included is the worldwide installed base of home networks and those networks with PC and CE devices.

Details are provided for PCs with a Media Center-enabled OS, basic media servers, PCs with a Media Center-enabled OS plus TV, non-PC devices with embedded media servers (e.g., set top boxes, digital media adapters/digital media receivers, network storage, etc.), and total media server-capable devices. Consumer survey results related to digital home multimedia networking are also included.

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- Worldwide media server-capable device shipments will grow by a 43 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2006 to 2011.

- The worldwide market for basic media server shipments to be placed in home networks within one year is expected to grow by 62 percent from 2006 to 2011.

- Global home networks with at least one PC and at least one networked CE device will grow by about 100 percent in 2008.