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Wi-Fi Starts Cross-Over into Digital TV Sets

As the number of connected consumer electronics (CE) devices continues to grow, network connectivity becomes a challenge. Home network technologies such as coax and powerline are making inroads, however the latest market study by ABI Research indicates that wireless will remain the dominant method.

Connected consumer electronics devices are an important part of the emerging and quickly growing home media network. Consumers are becoming more comfortable with the idea of delivering audio and video content throughout the home, on a variety of devices.

These devices include HDTVs, video game consoles, networked music receivers, and more. However, as these components are frequently scattered around the home, away from the router, wired connections are often not practical.

As a result, Wi-Fi connections in consumer electronics devices will rise from 113 million in 2008 to more than 285 million by 2012.

"While many consumer electronics devices initially adopted Ethernet connections due to cost and potential wireless connectivity issues, Wi-Fi has become the dominant LAN connection type in several device categories," says digital home practice director Jason Blackwell. "Now we're seeing Wi-Fi making its way more aggressively into components including digital televisions."

As bandwidth-intensive applications such as video streaming have become more commonplace, Wi-Fi has evolved with higher speed technologies such as the 802.11n standard. Ethernet will remain a strong second place technology, as it is often integrated in the silicon and does not add a significant amount to the bill of materials costs.

Over time, powerline, coax, and high-speed wireless connections will show growth in adoption, especially among broadband service providers.

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