Parks Associates Blog

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Oregan Networks and Edgeware Announcements - Web Video on Consumer Electronics Devices

I'm really curious about all of the different ways that consumer electronics manufacturers can bake in Web video capabilities to their end-user products. This whole area is very hot right now, as evidenced by all of the connected TV announcements at CES, and follow-up announcements throughout the year.

The game console has also become a de facto set-top box for video, and no product has exemplified this better to date than the Xbox 360. We cited some interesting online video usage statistics regarding the Xbox 360 recently. The Xbox 360 is now also a client for the Netflix Watch Instantly content. Sony just made this space a lot more interesting with the announcement that they'll offer their own video downloads through the PlayStation NETWORK.

Then, there are the announcements related to devices like the Netflix Player from Roku and the LG Electronics BD300 Network Blu-ray Player Disc Player that offer more ways for Netflix subscribers to experience Watch Instantly video directly at the TV.

I'm definitely interested in the product announcements, and even more interested in finding out the nuts and bolts of how consumer electronics devices become Web video-enabled. There are certainly plenty of options it seems for CE manufacturers to work with technology partners to bring Web video CE devices. There was the recent Intel and Yahoo announcement that marries a system-on-chip solution from Intel with a Widget Gallery from Yahoo. There are multiple media players that provide this experience. And, there are embedded media browser-based solutions, such as the one that Oregan Networks has. At the IBC show, they made an announcement that they would work with Edgeware to supply a Web TV solution to set-top box and TV manufacturers.

I am interested to know more about the different approaches to bringing Web video to the TV set. What are the cost and performance trade-offs for each solution? Are there quantity versus quality trade-offs that occur with one solution over another? Does the implementation of one solution reduce the bill-of-material costs for consumer electronics manufacturers? In other words, can CE device manufacturers eliminate components and costs by going with certain solutions?

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