Thursday, April 01, 2010

Checking the Residential Pulse

The market for home-entertainment networks will experience tremendous growth in the next five years, exploding from $150 million in consumer sales in 2000 to $3.4 billion in 2004, according to a recent forecast from Parks Associates.

"The home entertainment networking market will drive far beyond PC-to-PC connectivity," said Kurt Scherf, home networks analyst for Parks Associates. "The rapid increase in bandwidth capabilities among wired and wireless networking technologies over the last year has opened the door to distributed multimedia content in the home. We anticipate that high-end entertainment households – totaling more than 20 million at present – will help us define exactly which intra-home broadband capabilities will be most likely to drive the home entertainment market to the masses."

High-end entertainment households have already invested in a home theater and advanced entertainment platforms such as DVD players, and their demand for multimedia content will bring more components into the home. In recent focus groups conducted by Parks Associates, entertainment-savvy consumers showed unbridled enthusiasm for Internet radio, future video-on-demand services, and the possibility of recording their favorite shows without having to use videotape.

"When you look at the high-end entertainment household, first you get an idea of what products and services will be successful, and then you can conceptualize how entertainment will be distributed throughout the home," said Brian Canny, home networks analyst at Parks Associates. "New products like personal video recorders and enhanced gaming devices have generated a lot of excitement. Once you couple this new hardware with broadband connections, you will get something radically different from the isolated entertainment center these households have now; high-end entertainment will no longer be confined to one room in the home."

In order to determine how entertainment networking will play out in these households, Parks Associates is conducting benchmark consumer research, including a survey of 400 high-end entertainment households, which will be featured in the upcoming report Networks @ Home: High-End Entertainment Households.

From the article "Checking the Residential Pulse," by Chuck Seibuhr. 

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