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Digital Media Use Drives Home Networking Adoption

An increase in digital media use and networked devices in the home -- such as media tablets, set top boxes (STB), HDTVs, smartphones, and web-enabled media players -- has generated a much higher interest in and need for capable home network delivery systems.

Although Wi-Fi networks are still the most dominant form of home networks, the demand for more bandwidth-consuming applications is causing service providers to turn to wired networking solutions that can deliver higher speeds with more reliability than wireless 802.11x standards.

That demand propelled non-Ethernet home networking node shipments past the 40 million units in 2010, according to the latest market study by In-Stat.

"Wiring a home with Ethernet is costly and often requires service providers to send out technicians to drill through walls and pull Cat5 cabling," says Vahid Dejwakh, Analyst at In-Stat.

Instead, service providers are turning to existing home wiring, which can deliver their network -- such as power line, coax cable, and phone line.

However, not only is there competition over the type of wire to deliver the network, there are also different standards within each wire type that are not always interoperable. These standards currently include HomePlug, MoCA, and HomePNA.

In-Stat's latest market study findings include:

- HomePlug shipped the highest number of nodes in 2010.

- MoCA experienced the greatest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46 percent over the 2007 through 2010 time period.

- China is expected to surpass the U.S. in 2011 as the country with the most home networks.

- HomePlug dominates Router/Gateway home networking units throughout the forecast period. The same cannot be said for set top boxes, which is dominated by MoCA.

- G.hn will make impressive gains in set top boxes, becoming the second most popular standard by 2013 and challenging MoCA by 2015.

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