244.5 Million IP-Connected Consumer Electronics Devices in 2013

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

True Convergence is Here and Thriving

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Consumer electronics device manufacturers and CE industry pundits have long predicted a truly interconnected IP home. MultiMedia Intelligence isn’t the only company looking for true convergence; it exists but is hard to find. But there has always been some type of problem. The lack of a healthy ecosystem has always been a requisite for this to happen, until now. The ingredients for the IP-connected home include the availability of IP content aggregators, streaming video codecs, centralized network connectivity, and reliable wireless protocols. MultiMedia Intelligence believes that the necessary technology platforms are in place now and forecasts 244.5 million IP-Connected devices will be shipped in 2013.

The brain trusts for how IP devices are designed for connectivity are being gently assuaged. For example: Power line has been around forever and is emerging as a source of IP connectivity in regional areas like Europe where new wiring is an unseemly proposition. Coax is another way to leverage cable installations for high-speed connectivity. Also at the end of 2008, the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) announced that a MOCA (MultiMedia over Coax Association) PHY (Physical Layer) had been certified as DLNA compliant.

“Many of these technologies have been bouncing around for years now; it’s just now that they are starting to play well together,” according to Rick Sizemore, Chief Strategist for MultiMedia Intelligence. “The IP connected home is here to change the way we humans engage with our content in the many forms we need it, like audio/music, video/games, as well as images/stills and data. IP connectivity will in time make life easier for consumers but will once again bring significant turmoil to the media and business space. For many, the ideal environment will be content without the need for CDs, DVDs, etc. This has hastened more companies to go electronic. But is this really what the consumer wants? For some, yes, but for others, no. On the other hand, instead of manufacturers forever chasing state-of-the-art moving targets called standards, upgrades will be made through middleware. For the consumer, IP connectivity means that applications and content can be acquired at the home. For business, the exploitation of these markets is literally untapped.”

Key findings for IP Connectivity in consumer electronics include:

  • In 2008, over 80 million CE devices had Ethernet connectivity.
  • In 2008, the largest segment for IP connection was the video game console, by and far the largest IP-connected segment. By 2013, DVD players/recorders, and various other forms of audio/video equipment will usurp video game consoles as the most commonly sold CE IP-connected devices.
  • The sophistication of the consumer is a driver in and of itself. Consumers want ubiquity between applications that they buy for their mobile handset at their TVs, set-top boxes, storage in their homes or in the cloud.
  • PC-based video (YouTube, Hulu, and Facebook as examples of divergence in PC video), if desired, can be watched on the best IP-based monitor in the home, which in many cases is that very big screen, Plasma, DLP, LCD, and coming OLED television.
  • There is a battle being waged over IP. Depending on age (people who can afford large TVs, cable, sat in 2009), consumers have shown a disdain for PCs connected to their televisions. This being the case, content providers still need a place to stream video to. The solutions are narrowing to digital media adapters (DMA) or to legacy set-top boxes. Now Roku and VUDU are DMA manufacturers attempting to carve a niche in the IP space, but does anybody remember video Akimbo? A company that was either before its time or a preview of what 2009 has in store.

The research, “A Roomful of Strangers Visit the IP Connected Home,” forecasts the adoption rate of IP connectivity within CE devices. CE device shipments are forecast through 2013, and the forecast includes shipments by IP interface (Ethernet, 802.11 protocols, coax and power line). The secondary focus of this report is IP video. The IP video infrastructure is presented as the number of subscribers from various broadband mediums (satellite, cable, and IPTV), as well as subscriber numbers for residential VoIP and cellular subscribers. The dynamic between content providers (e.g., Blockbuster, LoveFilms, etc.) and device manufacturers that wish to offer IP video services such as rental, trick-play and sale, is covered. Lastly, the capabilities of DMA are compared and contrasted and the relationships that STB manufacturers (including DMA) have with content aggregators is fleshed out.