Connectivity continues its inexorable march into home entertainment. A wide range of home media equipment is now network- or Internet-enabled, with the number of connected devices shipped into consumer markets expected to increase steadily at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21% through 2016, according to ABI Research's forecasts.
ABI Research's forecasts for connected devices for the period show that between 2010 and 2016, a cumulative total of more than three billion devices will have shipped worldwide.
The most common home entertainment devices to include media connectivity are televisions and Blu-ray players. According to ABI Research practice director Jason Blackwell, "TV and video player connectivity is being strongly driven by streaming services such as Netflix in the United States and LOVEFiLM in the UK. Gaming consoles also create powerful demand for connectivity; although connected consoles are nothing new, they still rank strongly in connected home entertainment and will see increased shipment numbers through 2014."
Networked and streaming audio are also important segments of this market. "Online radio such as provided by Pandora, and the new 'cloud-based' music streaming services from firms such as Rhapsody, Melon and Spotify are also boosting the market for networked audio," notes Blackwell.
Blackwell concludes, "Other innovations such as Apple's AirPlay, which allows wireless streaming of music or other audio content throughout the home, will also help to drive demand."