Demand grows for remote access to stored content

One-third (33 per cent) of US broadband households are looking for ways to access their stored media content from outside the home, according to international research firm Parks Associates. The firm reports 35 per cent of these households consider remote viewing a highly appealing ability.

This demand for remote access will guide future networking plans among service providers, Parks Associates reports. The firm forecasts that over 50 million households worldwide will be using place-shifting solutions outside the home by 2012.

“Home networking is expanding beyond routers, access points, and residential gateways to include advanced set-top boxes,” said Kurt Scherf, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Parks Associates. “The home has many new devices enabling multiroom, multiplatform access to content, and service providers such as Verizon and AT&T have developed robust multiroom DVR strategies to build and reinforce their subscriber base.”

The research firm notes that the sphere of content access will continue to expand and currently there is no coherent strategy to facilitate remote viewing of content stored in the home. As a result, third-party vendors have moved into this space, hoping to establish themselves within this developing market.

“Service providers are experimenting with different ways to provide remote access to content,” Scherf said. “As the mobile phone becomes an integrated communications and multimedia platform, we expect remote access to be a significant part of the bundling strategies for all major providers. We will watch closely as service providers develop and test different strategies to leverage the set-top box platform to facilitate two-way content flow between the home and portable devices.”

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