Moneyweb picked up on a report from Gartner (TDG Research has a similar report) that predicts network DVD players/DVRs/game consoles will rule the connected home entertainment market, not PCs. “DVD recorders will become the core component of home networks, allowing consumers to watch movies, TV programmes and listen to music in any room of their home at any time,” said Paul O’Donovan, principal analyst at Gartner. ” Movies, TV programmes and music downloaded from the internet—as well as personal video and audio content—will be stored and played back on devices around the home using this new breed of DVD recorder. Ease of installation and use are the key elements for adoption by consumers and it will be the consumer electronics manufacturers, rather than the PC vendors, that will dominate this market. However, they will not be available in retail stores at mass-market prices until 2010 as vendors and technology suppliers will require time to develop common standards of connectivity and interoperability.”
For the most part Gartner’s analysis is right on the mark, but I have to disagree that consumers will have to wait until 2010 for network DVD players to hit “mass-market” prices. My personal favorite is the I-O Data Avel LinkPlayer2, which retails for only $249, is Windows/Apple/Linux compatible, and can stream premium content from CinemaNow and Rhapsody via a PC using Microsoft Media Connect. (Note: there’s also less advanced network DVD players from Gateway, D-Link, KiSS, and ReplayTV that sell for about the same price.) And let’s not ignore TiVo Series 2 DVRs that can stream content (and soon downloadable premium content) to a PC or other TiVo boxes in the house.
The point is: there’s no need to have a full-blown PC under your TV when you can buy a “smart,” relatively inexpensive CE device that can multitask with a PC on the home network. Sure that means that less processor sales for Intel, but, hey, now you’ll be putting your PC’s 3+ Ghz processor to good use.
Filed in: Industry Buzz