Consumers: I Want My Net-TV - InformationWeek

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04:28 PM

Consumers: I Want My Net-TV

By 2011, analysts predict shipments of network-equipped devices, PCs and home network bridges, and gateways will increase more than three times current levels.

Almost two-thirds of consumers want televisions linked to the Internet, according to a report released Wednesday.

Research and advisory company iSuppli announced results from its "Home Networking: In Search of a Killer Connection" report, saying the demand will drive sales of network-enabled consumer electronics.

With the growing demand, home networking is "migrating beyond its PC-centric beginnings" to incorporate entertainment-oriented consumer-electronics devices like DVD recorders, cable modems, digital televisions (DTVs), multi-room digital video recorders (DVRs), digital media adapters, set-top boxes and video game consoles, iSuppli explained.

The company predicts that shipments of network-equipped devices, PCs and home network bridges, and gateways will increase to 732.9 million units by 2011, or more than three times the number (225.3) manufacturers shipped in 2006.

"The awareness and demand for media home networking is growing rapidly among consumers," Steve Rago, principal analyst for networking and optical communications for iSuppli, said in a prepared statement."

iSuppli's first-quarter 2007 consumer-demand survey showed that 61% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they wanted the ability to network the Internet to their televisions, he added. Seventy-one percent of male respondents agreed or strongly agreed.

The survey found that global deployment of home LANs stood at 76 million at the end of 2006. In other words, LAN deployment has room to grow from its 3% penetration.

iSuppli concluded that Wi-Fi will become the most common network interface for consumer electronics, followed by Category 5 cable, Power line cable, and coaxial cable. Geographic region will also strongly influence interface technology choices, the report said. Internet Protocol television (IPTV) and multi-room DVR demand drives cable, satellite, and telecommunications companies to consider several new high-speed home networking technologies, including coaxial (Multimedia over Coax Alliance, Home Phone Network Alliance, High-Definition Audio-Video Alliance), Powerline, and Wi-Fi, the report found. Television and other consumer electronics manufacturers incorporate Internet Protocol (IP)-based connectivity to enable access to user-created content and new Internet-based media portals, according to the study.

Places like India and South America are expected to expand home networking to link laptops to broadband gateways, but the increase will be mild, despite strong broadband growth, iSuppli said.

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