Parks Associates Blog

Sunday, August 31, 2008

IFA Puts "Consumer" Back into Consumer Electronics

Additional observations from Berlin, where the sky is cloudless and the air has that October feel and the beer is, well, flowing. After all, it is the weekend and anyone remotely curious about electronics has turned out to wander the 30 exhibit halls which make up a large rectangle around, what else, a Biergarten. The mood is festive at Messe Berlin and the halls teaming with dealers, press, company executives and families who have ventured out to see the latest gadgets. Admitting consumers to this event is, to the seasoned American electronics veteran, unusual. Yesterday while discussing next-generation TV strategies with a global silicon company, a nice German family sat down at my table and unpacked their picnic lunch – curiously eavesdropping on our stimulating discussions.

Observing consumer reaction to products, however, is an added benefit to the IFA event. As I sat in Sony’s exhibit to check email, I found myself surrounded by 9 teenagers who were fascinated by the Rolly – an MP3 playing, dancing, light-flashing mini-entertainment robot, if I have properly captured the category name. I had walked past the Rolly casually dismissing it as the latest under-appreciated Sony engineering desperately seeking a market. Moments later, some of the teens were up on my bench, dancing with the Rolly – seeking to either teach it their moves, or imitate its own – which one, I could not determine.

Also in the Sony booth, OLED is in production. OLED’s incredibly thin (and expensive) display technology creates new form factor possibilities for TVs. Sony has developed an elegant mini TV set, about 8 inches diagonal, which would fit beautifully under a kitchen counter, in a desk or in a dorm room. This beautiful creation is not much larger than a digital photo frame but costs a whopping two thousand Euros and won’t be offered in this size to the U.S. market.

Other highlights of IFA include wireless HD. Wireless HD is being touted by Panasonic and several other large TV manufacturers – with wireless HDMI solutions becoming mainstream this year. Also spotted at IFA is 3D for the TV. The Fraunhofer Institute, inventor of MP3, showed compelling 3D technology and demonstrated early methods of converting 2D content to 3D, requiring no stereoscopic glasses. Following several other sightings of 3D TVs around the industry throughout the year, this is a trend to watch (pardon the pun).

Digital photo frames continue to abound, not only as new product offerings, but as compelling digital signage for displays. One new innovation offered from a company called PRINICS is a digital photo frame with integrated printer – now grandmother can simply tap on the picture she likes and out pops a glossy print – assuming she knows how to load paper, ink and, if she is really good, figure out which supplies to pick up at Office Depot.

In the Really Cool department is a pocket sized projector from Epson. The projector is about the size of the average clam shell mobile phone, but much better looking. While its range and duty (30 inches to the display wall) are merely for personal show-and-tell at this point, the possibility of carrying a board room quality projector in one’s pocket in a not too future date is music to the road warrior’s ears.

Surprisingly not many Intel Atom based mini-PCs were seen. One that I did notice was from Korea’s Wibrain. The device is pleasantly easy to use and, of course, familiar given that it runs Windows XP. Wibrain’s marketing message “Sorry Blackberry” can only bring a chuckle to the road warrior as this device is literally the size of brick. Perhaps the message should be “Sorry Symbol” as I can envision this device in the hands of the UPS delivery man, assuming he needs Word, Excel and Solitaire behind the wheel of his brown truck. Nice product but I am unsure of the application.

Of considerable note is the continuing drumbeat of “green.” Toshiba went so far as to dedicate a very large section of its multi-thousand Euro hall to being green. In this space was featured Toshiba’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2008, describing the company’s steps in keeping up its responsibility to the environment. Sony’s entire exhibit space was an eerie white “forest”, complete with giant white plaster tree trunks, projected sunsets, cricket chirps and bird noises. While entertaining, I never saw any synergy with the products and technology being displayed with the forest that housed them. As a matter of fact the stark white trees were in such contrast to the sexy glowing products on display that it reminded me that energy-sucking, flashing plastic products just don’t seem environmentally friendly. The question remains, will consumers prefer green companies, or is green becoming a “check box” item which is a requirement of corporate political correctness? Better do some research here.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

IFA - Saturday, August 30

We wrapped up a very good CONNECTIONS Summit yesterday and were treated afterwards to a tour by the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute. At their IFA display, they showed their audio and video developments, including 3D television, pointer control solutions (cameras sense hand motion and allow users a way to interact with presententations and other video without a mouse), video compression and coding, digital music metadata, and other developments. It was quite interesting.

I have walked most of the IFA displays today, and I am amazed at some of the displays. The giant consumer electronics companies go all out! Sony takes up an entire exhibit hall and had a live band on stage to entertain the visitors.

My focus was on connected products, including televisions. I saw connected TVs from smaller European players such as Vestel, Finlux, and Grundig. I did spy a couple of DLNA displays, the Samsung Series 7 (they also had a Media Center Extender) and Sony's GigaJuke. I saw at least a couple of televisions that incorporate Media Center functionality and others that reference "PC TV" functionality (Daewoo).

Smaller and multi-purpose personal computing systems were on wide display at IFA. One such product that caught my eye was the Shuttle Barebone D10, which uses Z-Wave networking technology to control household appliances and systems.

Wireless multimedia distribution is a hot topic, and I saw Funai referencing a product using Amimon's WHDI solution. Panasonic was demonstrating a product using SiBEAM's WirelessHD solution. Toshiba was also showing WirelessHD in a couple of flat-panel TVs.

Internet radios were also quite prevalent, spanning companies from Olympia, DNT, Epson, Grundig, Reciva, Tivoli, Logitech, and Sonos.

I did see the LG Electronics N4B1 network attached storage (NAS) device. This has a built-in Blu-ray drive, allowing users to share (if allowed) a disc among multiple users, regardless of the operating system that they use (Windows, Apple, or Linux). NAS can create and store an image of the disc which is then accessible by all of the users on the network.

All in all, IFA was a great show to walk. The consumer electronics giants put on a good show!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

e-Health offers service providers opportunities to serve over seven million people by 2012

Service providers are in a unique position to enter the e-Health space, which will grow to serve over seven million people in the U.S. and Europe by 2012, according to a new white paper from Parks Associates. These consumers range from seniors with chronic conditions to younger consumers who want to self-manage their personal health.

e-Health Opportunities for Global Service Providers, released today on the research firm’s Website, outlines strategies and opportunities for service providers in e-Health, a term that refers to advanced healthcare technologies and electronic delivery of medical services. e-Health offers revenue opportunities for service providers in both the enterprise and consumer markets.
The paper asserts that, while the health field is complex, with issues such as insurance and reimbursement, providers have dealt with similarly complicated service sectors. For example, digital television services required negotiating franchise and licensing fees with a variety of different players.

e-Health Opportunities for Global Service Providers is available as a free download at

Parks Associates’ upcoming report Taking Care of the Elderly through Digital Technologies studies more in-depth the market opportunities for home monitoring, focusing on the fragile and elderly population.

Read the full press release:

IFA - first impressions

We were able to attend the ShowStoppers press reception on Wednesday evening in Berlin. The experts say that the best way to counteract jet lag is to hit the ground running. Based on the amount of walking we had to do to find the ShowStoppers reception area on the Messe Berlin grounds, I'd say we did pretty well in that category!

ShowStoppers at IFA is a much smaller event than what you'd find in Las Vegas during the Consumer Electronics Show. Nonetheless, there were some interesting displays. Among them:

  • A Dutch company called Compositor has a 2 TB NAS server device called the MeeBox. It can stream photos and music to network-connected digital photo frames. The company also has a service that will also stream aggregated content to the photo frames or TVs hooked up via a MeeCeiver digital media adapter device.
  • We have been familiar with Sonos - the digital music system company - for sometime. Now there's a company called "Sonoro" that has a system that looks to have taken some design points from Sonos.

Thursday is press conference day at IFA, and we're just pulling in the information from the major consumer electronics vendors.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Digital Home: German Style

We've set up shop in Berlin this week for our CONNECTIONS Europe Summit on Friday, and a visit to the IFA show over the weekend. According to a few articles in The New York Times this week, a big focus of IFA will be the "connected living room." This should be a continuation of the themes we heard at CES in January, as major consumer electronics manufacturers made a variety of connected device announcements. Another Times article indicates that the home server market may take on a decidedly CE flavor, as LG Electronics announced a network-attached storage device that can automatically back up pictures, files and home movies onto a central disk storage server to be accessed by all of the home PCs. Smartphones are also expected to be on display, and Sony - which has the largest booth here - is expected to have a major presence. We're intrigued by a whole area set aside for white goods/appliances. I wonder if we'll see any new renditions of the Internet-connected refrigerator?

Monday, August 25, 2008

AT&T Geeks Out

AT&T announced the launch of ConnectTech last Thursday. This support service will offer the following services:
  • Custom installation of home theater and TV equipment.
  • Flat-panel TV wall mounting and home video installation.
  • Wall-mount speaker installation.
  • New PC or Apple® computer installation and the startup of a home desktop or notebook, including e-mail, security configuration and device networking.
  • PC repair service, including parts and hardware replacement.
  • Home network installation of multiple broadband-enabled devices.
  • Computer and network diagnosis covering software and router configuration, settings, virus, spyware or operating system errors.
  • Remote PC and phone support for digital products, such as digital camera, MP3 players and more.

Another TV Enters the Networked Zone

It's been a banner year for networked TV introductions, and we have another manufacturer on the board. Mitsubishi has announced a Living Fit TV line that uses the Amimon WDHI solution to wirelessly link an HDTV receiver to an LCD panel. This product will be available in the Japanese market. This TV win is apparently the second for the WHDI technology, which will also be used in the Sharp X Series televisions, also available to the Japanese market.

With the Mitsubishi introduction, I believe we now have seven known manufacturers with at least one wireless television either announced or currently available. Here's the rundown:
  • HP MediaSmart TV (has integrated 802.11a/b/g/n) offers movies from CinemaNow and music from Live365
  • Panasonic PZ850/VIERA Cast™ offers YouTube videos and access to Picasa, Google's photo sharing service
  • Samsung's Series 6 and Series 7 LCD and plasma TVs offer the InfoLink™ RSS Service with customized news, weather, sports, and stock information
  • Sharp's SE94U and D74U AQUOS HDTV series feature AQUOS Net, a widget service that provides Nasdaq stock quotes, local weather information, high-definition images, traffic information from, and cartoons
  • Sony's BRAVIA® Internet Video Link is a small module that attaches to the back of a selection of the the company’s 2007 and 2008 BRAVIA LCD flat-panel television models and provides on-demand entertainment including movies, TV programs, YouTube videos, and a variety of other free content as well as news, weather and traffic informaiton via an existing Ethernet connection
  • Westinghouse teamed with UWB technology provider Pulse~LINK to develop two Wireless HDMI TVs. These will be initially aimed at the B2B space for digital signage applications.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

CONNECTIONS™ Europe to address mobile TV and other entertainment platforms and applications

While Europe has adopted a standard for mobile TV, this move actually makes it more difficult for operators to reap the benefits of this service sector, according to a new white paper from Parks Associates.

The research firm released No Way to Regulate: Mobile TV in Europe for its upcoming CONNECTIONS™ Europe Summit. This event will take place on August 28-29 at the Kempinski Hotel Bristol Berlin and features panels and interactive discussions on advanced entertainment platforms and emerging applications for entertainment, home networking, and communications.

This new white paper highlights the challenges European operators face as they develop and deploy mobile TV services. European regulators have adopted the DVB-H as a mobile TV standard for Europe, but the paper asserts that this approach means operators are limited in their spectrum options and often cannot leverage established network infrastructure.

This market situation threatens what is a significant service sector. Mobile TV users, while small in number, are an important consumer segment, according to Parks Associates. They are more likely to own and purchase a variety of consumer electronics, more likely to subscribe to pay TV services, and generally have a more favorable attitude toward technology. Service providers will be able to command a premium in advertising to this consumer segment.

GDL: Entertainment 2.0 in Europe, a new study by Parks Associates, will further explore consumer purchase habits and service preferences for a variety of entertainment products and services, from traditional TV to advanced online video. The study features consumer surveys and country profiles of the top European markets.

CONNECTIONS™ Europe Summit will include two panels, “The Evolution of Video Devices” and “New Connectivity Applications: Entertainment, Control, Home Networking, and Communications,” focused on the new opportunities and obstacles for companies in digital entertainment.

Prior to CONNECTIONS™ Europe Summit, the WirelessHD Consortium will host a pre-show workshop on August 28, followed by a reception for CONNECTIONS™ Europe attendees. The summit concludes on August 29 with a tour of the Fraunhofer Institute’s Exhibits at IFA 2008, hosted by Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Intel and Yahoo: Widget Channel Strategy

Eric Kim from Intel's Digital Home Group today unveiled an application framework called the Widget Channel. It will bring structured Internet applications and content to the television, using widgets. The solution uses Yahoo's Widget Engine and core libraries, and brings many services to the TV, including content from Blockbuster, Disney-ABC, CBS Interactive, Cinequest, Joost, and Showtime.

Kim also unveiled the Intel Media Processor CE 3100 (formerly codenamed "Canmore"), which is an SoC solution using Intel Architecture that will be aimed at the consumer electronics space - TVs, DVD players, set-top boxes, and other connected CE devices.

It's interesting to see how the Intel focus shifted rapidly from "PC in the living room" (Viiv) to creating embedded solutions for connected CE devices. Other than driving more premium content to the TV screen, it will be interesting to see how consumers react to the other Web-on-TV applications that Intel and Yahoo are touting.

Service and hardware revenues will contribute $1.8 billion to the U.S. eldercare industry by 2013

Digital health technologies designed to monitor and care for the elderly population will bring in U.S. revenues in excess of $1.8 billion by 2013.

Technological advances will drive this growth in service and hardware revenues, according to Parks Associates’ Taking Care of the Elderly through Digital Technologies. Connected medical, activity, and environmental sensors and fitness measurement devices will bring in more than twice the dollar amount of the low-tech personal emergency response system (PERS) sector in 2013. These new technologies will monitor seniors’ vital signs, track their locations and activities, and measure their fitness progress.

Taking Care of the Elderly through Digital Technologies is Parks Associates’ latest research report on the digital health industry. This report analyzes how technology can be used to monitor and manage the elderly population in their homes and in long-term care facilities. The report also examines applicable service sectors and potential payment models.

Harry Wang, Director of Health & Mobile Product Research, Parks Associates, is speaking in the session “Smart Home-Smart Patient: Telehealth and the New Digital Home” at the 2008 ATA Mid-Year Meeting, September 15, 2008, at 9:45 a.m.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Blending Premium Internet Experiences with Television and CE

Yesterday's announcement from Widevine that CinemaNow has chosen its content protection solution in a multi-platform distribution strategy is the first of many expected announcements through the rest of the year that show the migration of Internet video and other applications from just a pure PC/portable multimedia player market. As we wrote last week, the development trends indicate that Internet video services are going to be common on all kinds of platforms and via all kinds of existing services - including your broadband and television services. In a few years, it really will be hard to find many pure-play Internet video services, as many will be blended in existing services and available through products that consumers are going to have in their living rooms, anyway - the game console, the set-top box, the TV, etc.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Reshaping the Internet Video Market

Just as we put the finishing touches on our Internet Video: Direct-to-Consumer Services (Second Edition) report this week, word came that a couple more Internet video pioneers were closing their doors, or at least seriously revamping their game plan. Vongo (the subscription movies-on-demand service from Starz) will end its service on September 20, 2008. As you'll recall, Starz recently announced a collaboration with Verizon, which provided some clues as to why the company pulled the plug on its stand-alone Internet movie service. The Starz Play service is the first of what Starz officials expect to be more white-labeled deployments of its service. In the meantime, ClickStar, which was a collaboration between Morgan Freeman and Revelations Entertainment, officially closed.

There is no question that among many of the premium Internet video efforts that exist today, the movie services have suffered the most, and largely due to the inabiltiy by consumers to view the content directly on their televisions. If you throw out the significant users of Internet video services such as Xbox LIVE! (and we'll get to its impact later), our TV 2.0: The Consumer Perspective study, conducted in Q2 2008, finds that a very small sliver - 1.5% - of broadband users surveyed are actually paying to rent or download movies in any given month. This compares to 24% who watch primetime TV shows on the Internet in any given month, and about 3.5% who pay to download TV shows from iTunes or other sites.

If you look just at the August 2007 fire sale of Movielink ($6.6 million from Blockbuster) - in which five major motion pictures studios had invested close to $150 million, the economics of the movies-only services have not been favorable. At the time of the purchase (the first half of 2007), Movielink had lost about $10 million on revenues of $1.9 million.

Something's gotta give here, and the movie services recognize this. In April, for example, CinemaNow (another early entrant in the online movie distribution business) announced that it would work with Technicolor to build a platform for the electronic delivery of movies, TV shows, music and software to consumers via a broadband Internet connection. This platform will include content encoding and encryption, digital rights management (DRM), hosting and storage, promotions and ad management, streaming or download delivery, order fulfillment, reporting, and forensics. Like Starz, CinemaNow sees that while the consumer-facing services for movie rentals and downloads may not scale, they can certainly offer white-label services that do create new opportunities to distribute content to wider audiences.

The second key point is that - to both survive and thrive - the Internet video services have to be easily accessible from the television set. This is something that Netflix has pursued quite successfully, as the Roku Netflix player has sold quite well since introduction in May. With LG's introduction of the BD300 Network Blu-ray Disc Player and the Xbox 360 supporting Netflix's Instant Queue, Netflix has set itself up well to take advantage of today's predominant video consumption model (the DVD), while keeping its options for digital distribution open to a larger audience down the road. We would fully expect Blockbuster to follow a similar approach with Movielink.

Here was a startling figure from our TV 2.0 study - among consumers who watch Internet video, only 5% use an iPod or other portable multimedia player to do so! The vast majority of Internet video consumption today is still occuring at the PC. With Apple's great penchant for self-promotion, one almost bought into the iPod as being the panacea for driving paid Internet video services. Guess what? Apple doesn't rule in Internet video. It's Microsoft! In estimating the revenues that Apple and Microsoft are deriving from video downloads and rentals this year (U.S. households), our estimates indicate that Xbox LIVE will bring in about $291 million in video revenues to Microsoft, whereas Apple is looking at $213 million!

The results from TV 2.0 are indicative of the direction that the Internet video market needs to move ... straight to the TV. Whether it's the broadband connected TiVo box (35% of users access's Unbox service on at least a monthly basis) or the Xbox 360 (24% of users pay for video content on at least a monthly basis), Internet video services show a significantly-higher growth potential when they are linked directly to the household's primary entertainment center. When 2.8% of all U.S. broadband households are paying for Internet video from an Xbox 360 - and only 1.5% are paying for Internet video consumed at the PC or the portable MP3 player, the results are clear. To not only survive but thrive, Internet video services must be more accessible directly from the primary entertainment center in the home. How the consumer electronics industry evolves to take advantage of growing array of premium Internet video content (both user-paid and ad-supported) will be a key development to watch in the coming years.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Consumers to spend billions on Internet Video Services by 2013

TV-based Internet video receivers and connected consumer electronics platforms will drive transactional revenues for premium Internet video services past $6 billion --

U.S. consumers will spend over $6 billion for Internet video services by 2013, with direct-to-TV videos accounting for 75% of that revenue, according to Parks Associates’ Internet Video: Direct-to-Consumer Services (Second Edition). This new report finds that greater ownership of connected game consoles, networked TVs, and alternative video-on-demand set-top receivers is generating significant growth in user-paid revenues.

Future areas to watch include ad-supported movie streams, new targeted advertising approaches, and Hollywood’s efforts to offer more electronically distributed content through download-to-burn kiosks and other manufacturing-on-demand outlets.

Internet Video: Direct-to-Consumer Services (Second Edition) examines the business of premium Internet video delivery and includes the latest primary consumer research on Internet video consumption and interest in new Internet video services and products.

Parks Associates will present on Internet video and other digital-lifestyle topics at CONNECTIONS™ Europe Summit, August 29, in Berlin.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Home Networking to reach 168 Million Households Worldwide in '08: CONNECTIONS Europe focuses on entertainment & multimedia services in EU markets

Rapid growth in home networking, approaching 168 million households worldwide in 2008, is laying the foundation for expansion of multimedia services internationally and especially in the European markets, according to Parks Associates.

The market research firm will host CONNECTIONS™ Europe Summit on August 29, 2008, at the Kempinski Hotel Bristol Berlin, to discuss the implications of this market growth and share the latest findings of its Global Digital Living™ (GDL) project.

Parks Associates launched GDL in 2005 to track and analyze international adoption and consumer attitudes toward advanced digital technologies and services. The most recent survey, GDL: Entertainment 2.0 in Europe, studies the growth of entertainment services in the top European markets. The project includes country profiles and consumer surveys and examines adoption and valuation of DVDs, online video and video-on-demand, DVRs, and high-definition TV services, among other topics.

CONNECTIONS™ Europe will provide attendees with international consumer research and feature interactive discussions on advanced television services, new media and digital content, and value-added services.
Advisory sponsors for CONNECTIONS™ Europe: Cisco, Enure Networks, F-Secure Corporation, Macrovision, the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA), Neotion,, Toshiba Electronics Europe, WirelessHD, and Zilog, Inc.

The event agenda features speakers from the following companies and organizations:
ActiveVideo Networks
Deutsche Telekom
Enure Networks
Home Gateway Initiative
HomePlug Powerline Alliance
Makewave AB
NEC Europe
Nokia Siemens Networks
OSGi Alliance
Shiny Media
SiBEAM, Inc.
SPiDCOM Technologies
Sonic Solutions
Texas Instruments
Toshiba Electronics Europe GmbH

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RS-DVR Now Legal ... So Now What?

Monday's ruling from the 2nd Court of Appeals found that Cablevision's Remote Storage DVR (RS-DVR) service was not in violation of copyright law, overturning a March 2007 ruling. The RS-DVR feature allows subscribers to have DVR-like functionality without a set-top box, as Cablevision itself hosted the storage. I had commented on the original ruling in this blog post last year.

While Cablevision may be free to now restart the RS-DVR services, I wonder how much they'll actually do so. It seems that much has changed in the cable industry in just over a year, and a significant focus of the cable providers is how to leverage advanced technology to build their lagging ad revenues. This is the whole reason behind the Canoe Venture, where the major cable operators are pulling resources to develop advanced advertising technologies aimed at interactive and targeted advetising and more refined audience measurement, and hope to not only leverage it in building their internal ad revenues, but also in licensing the technologies to cable programmers and advertisers alike.

It would seem to me that the last thing the cable industry wants to do now is to antagonize its content partners, nor does giving subscribers even greater ability to skip commercials seem to be in its best interest. I would suspect that, although the industry is free to pursue RS-DVR development, that we'll continue to see the operators focus more on services such as ad-supported video-on-demand programming and developing interactive and targeted ad solutions.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Consumers are not sold on mobile video services

Parks Associates recommends operators should offer free content to entice new subscribers...

While nearly one-third of U.S. households have a video-capable mobile phone, operators are struggling to find an audience for their mobile video services, according to Mobile TV: Analysis & Forecast (Second Edition).

This new report by market research firm Parks Associates found a majority of consumers with a video-capable mobile phone have never used the video features. For example, 56% have never watched a video clip using a mobile phone. These low usage rates are discouraging for operators hoping to boost revenues through new TV and video services. The report predicts operators will overcome this challenge by offering more programming at no cost.

Mobile TV: Analysis & Forecast (Second Edition) is a study of the global market for mobile TV services.

The full press release is available:

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Digital Media Changes Our Storage Cabinets

Prior to the abundance of digital cameras, mounds of pictures and negatives filled shoe boxes and plastic containers around the house. Prior to MP3 players, stacks of cassettes and CDs lined shelves. Prior to movie downloads, shelves of VHS tapes and DVDs surrounded the entertainment center. Though the previous formats still exist, households are moving away from the physical copies of their media and to digital versions. With this migration toward digital, shelving units are being replaced with larger hard drives.

Today, we estimate that the average broadband household has about 226GB of digital photos, music, and video stored on the various devices in the house. This includes all of the music ripped from the CD collection and those hours of television and movies stored on DVRs. We predict that this collection of digital media will increase to nearly 900GB by 2012, driven in large part by video downloads, managed copies of Blu-ray discs, and increasing use of DVR recording capabilities.

Protection of the physical copies typically meant that the negatives for the most cherished family photos were kept in a safety deposit box and additional copies of albums were made “just-in-case.” However, that too is changing. Our research, detailed in Home Servers and Consumer Storage, found that though respondents from 40% of broadband households show an interest in protecting their data and digital media by backing them up to another storage solution, only a small percentage of consumers are actually doing this consistently. Most frequently they are encouraged to get in the habit of backing up after losing important files. Those that are backing up their files, tend to still be doing so on optical media such as CDs which does not provide the same quality of backup as an external hard drive provides. Can you imagine our stacks of CDs or DVDs storing almost a terabyte of media? Consumers need to realize that their ability to keep their digital media in the current form indefinitely is tenuous and that they need to move toward solutions more suited to the use and safekeeping of these files.

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