In the latest issue of Euromedia we examine the Home Gateway and its role in enabling the consumer to move nearer to the ‘anything you could want, any time, on any device, anywhere’ Nirvana we all, apparently, aspire to.
The Home Gateway’s other important role is in bestowing managed providers with a refreshed raison d’être; it will remain complicated to implement, will organise and serve up OTT services, will play a role in content monetisation, and is a potential segue to the ‘Smart Home’.
As our contributors note, the term Home Gateway has quite a few interpretations, but even the simpler iterations will need to cope with a number of different inputs needing conversion and numerous output challenges when it comes to the range of devices to be fed. Standards must be the answer, but beyond baseline DLNA there seems little prospect of them with, in particular, mobile device makers determined to stick to their proprietary routes. Indeed, if many more passing off and patent breach law suits are filed between CE manufacturers, the legal budget of some technology firms will soon outweigh their R&D spend; TiVo’s probably already does.
Eventually de facto standards will evolve with the market deciding on the one or two operating systems that will survive, and the consumer will have everything he wants (or subscribes to) available at all times in all places on competitively priced devices with equally ‘cheap’ connectivity.
Will this improve the user’s media entertainment and engagement experience? Who knows? The assumption is yes, but that’s like assuming the availability of ‘on all the time’ communication has improved the quality of all our work. There is no question it has increased the quantity of work, (this is not the same as improving productivity), but the quality? Will evermore ability to consume mean more discerning consumption, or just more consumption?