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U.S. Consumer Multimedia Home Networking

U.S. broadband households are a prime market for connected home entertainment, with over 16 million harboring strong interest in these applications, according to a new report from Parks Associates.

The report, which draws from the 2006 survey "Managing the Digital Home: Installation and Support Services," says that 39 percent of broadband households with a data network and 37 percent of broadband households without a home network consider multimedia networking applications highly valuable.

"Multimedia networking applications, such as sharing media files on a network or streaming content from a PC to one or more entertainment platforms, are key aspects of the connected entertainment experience consumers are demanding," said Harry Wang, research analyst at Parks Associates. "With the market for multimedia networking still in its infancy, such relatively strong interest is a blessing to vendors in the digital home industry."

Companies must take an active role in promoting this market in order to realize its potential, according to "Networks in the Home: Connected Consumer Electronics." Sales of devices such as multimedia PCs, DVRs, network storage devices, and media adapters will be key barometers for the health of this market over the next five years. Also, the development of next-generation home networking standards for multimedia sharing and streaming will be important in driving the market.

"The job of cultivating consumers' appetites for a connected entertainment experience and translating their interest into concrete sales figures rests not only with technology providers and CE manufacturers but also content providers and distributors," Wang said. "Distributing high-value content through multiple channels, including the Internet and IPTV services, will spur consumers' interest in home connectivity and multimedia consumption over the network."

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