The digital home Local Area Network (LAN) will increasingly become instrumental in enabling HD video distribution within a residence, and in particular emerging over-the-top (OTT) video entertainment services.
Wired Ethernet is still the preferred method to interconnect devices on the network, such as broadband routers and digital media player set-top boxes. However, in larger homes there are times where using Ethernet cables isn't practical. Most consumers attempt to use Wi-Fi routers to provide wireless connectivity.
Using a legacy Wi-Fi router to stream HD video can be problematic, because high-definition video requires greater bandwidth. New high-speed gigabit routers are therefore becoming the preferred wireless home networking standard.
2009 was a premier year for the latest Wi-Fi standard, 802.11n. The current 802.11n devices showed significantly stronger growth than 802.11g, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. 802.11n grew 76 percent year-over-year -- compared with an annual decline of 14 percent for 802.11g.
"The wireless LAN (WLAN) market continued to grow in 2009, despite the decline of the worldwide overall market," says Vahid Dejwakh, In-Stat analyst.
In-Stat's market study found the following:
- Worldwide revenue was up 5.2 percent in 2009 compared with 2008.
- NETGEAR and D-Link took the lead in WLAN shipment market shares, at 23 percent and 18 percent respectively.
- 68.5 million WLAN units shipped in 2009.
- Small Office Home Office (SOHO) router revenues increased to $1.16 billion in 2009.
- North America accounted for 46 percent of all WLAN shipments in Q409.