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Networked Entertainment Devices Expected to Drive Distribution of Digital Content and Expand Opportunities for CE Vendors, According to New InfoTrends/CAP Ventures Report

(Weymouth, MA) September, 19 2005... The market for multimedia home networks (home networks that contain A/V devices) is still in its infancy. A recent InfoTrends/CAP Ventures study shows that while nearly 20% of U.S. households have a data home network, less than 5% currently have a multimedia network such as one with a television or stereo connected to the network. Nevertheless, several factors are laying the groundwork for sharing digital content in the future, including the growing penetration of devices such as digital cameras, camcorders, PVRs, and MP3 players, as well as lower-cost networking technologies being integrated into these same products.

It is not yet clear exactly how the market will develop, but the scenario that appears to be emerging includes a central server and one or more devices delivering and receiving content from the server, such as a PC, stereo, or TV. The central server in the home can be the household PC or a dedicated media server/set-top box, with double- or triple-digit gigabytes of storage space that is specifically dedicated to storing and recording A/V content. PC vendors envision a PC as the central server in the home, while most other players believe that a consumer electronics device is the hub of the multimedia network.

“Consumers are accumulating digital media files at a rapid clip, making multimedia networks even more desirable,” says Mike Wolf, a Director at InfoTrends/CAP Ventures. “Now is the time for vendors to stake their claims as new possibilities unfold. Potential avenues include providing users with a central server or hub where entertainment content resides, media adapters that extend content to other rooms in the home, entertainment content, and service and support of home networks.”

For digital camera and other imaging vendors, enabling their cameras to connect to a wireless network to share images on a TV or mobile device will create extra value in the eyes of the consumer. Similarly, cameras will be more valuable as electronic photo albums if consumers can instantly retrieve photos stored on a media server or an online photo site.

InfoTrends/CAP Ventures’ new report entitled The Digital Domicile: Digital Entertainment in the Home and the Impact of Multimedia Networks is available immediately. The report examines the impact of new media technologies on the digital home. Multimedia networks and new content distribution technologies are examined, as is the impact on existing vendors, consumer platforms, and technologies. Market drivers and barriers are assessed, and industry players are profiled. A five-year forecast for PC-based home networks and media networks is also provided.

InfoTrends/CAP Ventures is the leading worldwide market research and strategic consulting firm for the digital imaging and document solutions industries. We provide research, analysis, forecasts, and advice to help clients understand market trends, identify opportunities, and develop strategies to grow their businesses. Additional information about InfoTrends/CAP Ventures is available on the Web at

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