The relentless march toward digital media technology has driven the evolution of consumer electronics from specialised electronic devices to multipurpose, networked computing devices, with the advent of ‘smart CE devices’ having a profound effect on the digital multimedia home, according to research firm NPD In-Stat, who forecast that smart CE device unit shipments will surpass 92 million in 2016.
“CE vendors fundamentally agree that, increasingly, consumers are becoming technically savvy, and as a result are fully capable of using devices that are far more advanced than say, the traditional pay-TV STB,” noted Norm Bogen, VP Research. “In fact, they are not only capable of using smart devices, but consumers are eager to own smart devices that will afford them more freedom to access content outside the walled gardens of the pay-TV service providers, including content that is now widely available on the Web.”
He suggested that as a result, CE manufacturers saw a tremendous opportunity in filling the gap between what pay-TV service providers currently provide and what consumers are capable of utilising.
“If CE manufacturers are somehow able to substitute their own devices as an alternative to current STBs to enable the connected or smart digital home, they may be able to wrest some of the revenue opportunity away from pay-TV service providers,” he observed, pointing out however, that in an attempt to minimise the potential impact this could have on their customers and revenue stream, pay-TV service providers had begun to develop and deploy their own ‘smart’ STBs.
Recent findings in the study – The Global Market for Connected and Smart CE Devices – include: