Parks Associates Blog

Monday, August 31, 2009

Parks Associates supports the New York Games Conference

Parks Associates is supporting the New York Games Conference from September 30-October 1, 2009 in New York City.

The most influential decision-makers in the digital media industry gather at the NY Games Conference to network, do deals, and share ideas about the future of games and connected entertainment. NY Games Conference – now in its 3rd year – features lively debate on timely cutting-edge business topics. Executives from publishers, developers, advertising, investment firms, social networks, technology providers and content companies mingle together at this top industry event.

For more information, visit .

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Parks Associates supports 2009 FTTH Conference & Expo

Parks Associates is supporting FTTH Conference & Expo from September 27th to October 1st in Houston, Texas.

Come to Houston in September 2009 for Building the Business of FTTH where industry leaders and operators will share success stories and lessons learned about the business elements needed to make money with FTTH. Hear from consumers about applications they are willing to pay for. Learn from other service providers about how FTTH has advanced their business and take home practical information and marketing strategies to take your network to the next level.

For more information, click here.

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European share of worldwide connected CE market approximately 40%

CONNECTIONS Europe to address connectivity, convergence as sales of connected consumer electronics double between 2009 and 2013

CONNECTIONS™ Europe Summit released the preliminary agenda for its upcoming executive conference, November 4, 2009, which will feature consumer research and expert analysis on the role of connected consumer electronics (CE) and related services in the connected home ecosystem.The event, titled The Roadmap for Connected Consumer Electronics and hosted by international research firm Parks Associates, will take place in Amsterdam at the Mövenpick Hotel. The Summit features insight into European and global consumer markets from expert analysts and high-level executives representing the top international players in the markets for advanced digital products and services.

The sale and installation of home network-enabled consumer electronics products will more than double between 2009 and 2013 to more than 100 million units annually. The European market will be particularly strong in such categories as connected TVs, game consoles, Blu-ray players, network-attached storage, alternative set-top boxes, and whole-home DVRs. Sales and installations of such products in Europe will grow from 20 million units in 2009 to almost 40 million by 2013.

CONNECTIONS™ Europe Summit will quantify demand and address the challenges and opportunities created as these Internet-capable devices are added the network in order to share content and expand interactive services. Rob Timmer, Senior Director Net TV, BU TV, Philips Consumer Lifestyle, will deliver the event’s Keynote Address.

Summit Sessions
Connected Europe: Trends and Numbers
Defining the New Video Experience
Evolution of the “Digital Furnace”: Residential Gateways and Set-top Boxes
Business Models for On-Demand Lifestyles
Enabling Technologies: Connecting It All
Wrapping It Up – Predictions for the Next Five Years

Deadline for speaker submissions is August 28, 2009.

Visit to submit or to register for the event.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Parks Associates supports Social Networking World Forum, Asia

Parks Associates is supporting the Social Networking World Forum -Asia from Sept 22-23, 2009 in Singapore, Asia.

The Social Networking World Forum - Asia is supported by some of the largest global brands and organizations who are using social media to effectively execute marketing and PR strategies.

The event also features from regional heads of the popular social networking sites to provide insight on market conditions and learn how they adapted their service to expand to this region. The event also features debate and analysis on current trends, market forces, and how brands and organizations are exploiting this new media to market products and services.

For more event info, click here.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Service providers boost subscriber satisfaction with bundled services and connected home strategies

A new white paper from Parks Associates finds households with bundles and home network solutions supplied by their service provider are more satisfied with their broadband service and more receptive to value-added services.

Broadband providers can achieve 15% higher customer satisfaction through connected home strategies that include service bundles and value-added services such as premium technical support.

Broadband Services: The Turning Point, the new white paper from Parks Associates, reports subscribers with a triple-play bundle exceed the national average for satisfaction with broadband services. Premium entertainment services, premium technical support, and provider-deployed home networks also have an immediate and positive impact on customer satisfaction and create a foundation for future service enhancements and higher ARPU.

Broadband Services: The Turning Point examines the evolution of broadband services and provides primary consumer data of U.S. broadband households, including current penetration of bundled services, consumer interest in a variety of broadband value-added services, and the impact of VAS on customer satisfaction.

Parks Associates’ upcoming project Broadband, Communications, and Entertainment Bundles examines the consumer selection process for communications and entertainment services.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Parks Associates supports 4G World, Chicago

Parks Associates is a research sponsor of the 4G World Conference this September 15-18 in Chicago.

4G World is the first industry conference and expo covering the entire ecosystem for next generation networks supporting high speed broadband and full mobility, anywhere Internet access, mobile content, applications and transactions. 4G World will showcase the first 4G mobile broadband networks being launched in 2009 using mobile WiMAX technologies and the evolution of 3G mobile networks to support mobile Internet using HSPA and LTE technologies.

For more information about this event, visit

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Why I Hate Twitter

NOTE: This does not reflect the opinions of Parks Associates. Just my personal musings. As a communications tool, there is no question that Twitter can have enormous value. Look at how protestors in Iran were able to get their message out to the world. Heck, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is a proponent of the short messaging service's ability to get emergency alerts and updates out to people in an efficient manner. However, my jaw was this close to dropping as I read the article in today’s Wall Street Journal regarding the Twitter outage yesterday. So, I get the benefit...sort of. We live in a world where information moves very quickly, and efficiency in dissemination is important. Shoot, I've probably lost a few of you already because this paragraph is too dense.

But, man, does Twitter embody some highly-disturbing attributes (again, my opinion).

  • Celebrity worship;
  • The notion of false-urgency, where there are no filters for any and all information, and everything becomes a reaction to life's events with little time for reflection thereof;
  • Narcissim; and
  • Treating silence as an enemy, where we are uncomfortable in mere thought and consideration. Why must we feel compelled to comment on everything at everytime? Why do I check my e-mail at 5:30 in the morning before breakfast? Why is the Blackberry constantly buzzing (and drawing my attention)? Why can't we simply absorb information, think through it critically, and then act?
I hope that the world still has room for thoughtful oratory and writing, newspapers, and considerate debate. I hope that we still see value in the time and effort it takes to observe, think, and act. I hope that Twitter is not the beginning of the end for Western Civilization. See the quotes from the Journal and my commentary:

WSJ: MC Hammer was in the middle of an interview early Thursday morning when he encountered the unimaginable: life without Twitter.

After 10 minutes of trying to check messages from his 1.2 million followers on the site, the 1980s rapper known for his trademark balloon pants realized that the social-networking service had gone down.

"My baby wasn't acting right. Did I notice it was out? That would be the equivalent to asking, did you notice you woke up?" says Mr. Hammer, whose given name is Stanley Burrell. "My immediate thought was, 'There is no replacing this platform...I couldn't satisfy the need to communicate.'"

Kurt: So, I guess if you’re a B-list celebrity whose career has jumped the shark, Twitter is your inexpensive path back to the public’s consciousness. A valuable marketing tool, no doubt. Hammer needs all the revenues he can get. So, Twitter can help Hammer. But, was the world worse off with a few minutes of Hammer Time being off the grid? Hmmmm…the sun was shining pretty brightly today. I heard birds singing. The Earth’s rotation continues. We’re okay.

WSJ: Thursday's outage foiled Ian Schafer, the CEO of Deep Focus interactive ad agency in New York. Mr. Schafer, who prides himself on live-tweeting conferences and events to his nearly 5,000 followers, was preparing to live-tweet from a bris, a Jewish circumcision rite, for two baby boys.

Kurt: Ah, yes…live play-by-play and color analysis of a bris. I’ve heard of Twitter being used in hospital operating rooms to keep the family and friends of a patient informed, but maybe we’ll move it to less-intrusive procedures.

WSJ: On the way to his car in the morning, Mr. Schafer kept trying to get on Twitter from his iPhone, but figured his Web access was down. When he arrived at the ceremony, he tried again. His tweet -- "I'm at a bris. Not mine" -- took 45 minutes to crawl through. The next missive -- "In case you were wondering, a bris of twin boys happens one at a time" -- took another hour.

Kurt: Interesting information – I did not know this. But did I need it in real time?

WSJ: So he gave up. He posted a few photos of the food on his Facebook page and called it a day.

Kurt: Food – the best part of any church or religious event. Attend a Lutheran potluck. You’ll know what I’m talking about. Good for you for giving up, though. The food report can wait...really.

Kurt: The first two examples are merely humorous. Now, we're getting to jaw-dropping time.

WSJ: Washington journalist Ana Marie Cox, who has posted roughly 6,500 tweets, was unable to tell her nearly 952,000 followers that she purchased a new pair of jeans because of Thursday's outage. Ms. Cox often shares her choice of attire with a tweet dubbed "pants status."

Kurt: Ummm...okay

WSJ: "Strangely, I've found that the world has continued to exist without me having shared that," says Ms. Cox, a national correspondent for Air America and a contributing editor at Playboy.

Kurt: I am not sure how we survived, but by golly, we pulled through.

Kurt: But we’re getting to the best part…

WSJ: But she did get to leave a good impression with a lunch date. "This person probably thinks I'm very focused and polite," Ms. Cox says. Had Twitter been functioning, she says she would've been tweeting throughout the meal. "I would have come off like I usually do," Ms. Cox says, "which is obviously rude and insensitive."

Kurt: This was a date? Where typically one person attempts to get to know another person through ... uh ... conversation? Since you clearly have no interest in these types of personal interactions, you could really save yourself some money and take just you and your smartphone out to eat, you know.

Another took Copernicus far less time to figure out that the Earth revolves around the sun than it will ever take the human race to figure out that the same does not apply to them.

Kurt: And finally, somebody with whom I symphathize, because I get this. But still...

WSJ: Other Twitter addicts were grateful to have a few extra minutes tacked onto their day. "The truth of the matter is, I got back 10 minutes of my morning -- not to have to think of something interesting to twitter which is so damn hard at 5 a.m." says Richard Rosenblatt, CEO of Demand Media, a digital-media company.

Kurt: Why, may I ask, why? A compulsion to Tweet every day? At 5 a.m.? Regardless of whether you have anything interesting to say or not? How is this helpful to you or the world? Can't we wait until there is something truly interesting to say? Sheesh.

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Parks Associates supports Broadband World Forum, France

Parks Associates is an analyst sponsor for Broadband World Forum in Paris, France from September 7-9, 2009.

Parks Associates Vice President of Research and Principal Analyst, Kurt Scherf is speaking in the session Bringing the Network into the Home: From Connected Home to Real Digital Home, on Tuesday, September 8th at 2:00 – 3:30 PM.

Broadband World Forum Europe focuses on convergence, interoperability, and the transformation of carrier networks. Industry experts will share their insights and experiences in abundant session programming, and the innovative technology exhibition is the perfect complement, offering an ideal opportunity for you to get plugged in to the latest broadband applications, solutions, and services from global technology vendors. More Info

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Wireless Home Healthcare to be $4 Billion Industry by 2013

Mobile carriers to open new market opportunities in healthcare with wireless technologies

The U.S. market for wireless home-based healthcare applications and services will grow at a five-year cumulative annual growth rate of over 80% and become a $4.4 billion industry in 2013, according to Wireless Healthcare: Analysis & Forecasts.

The report from international research firm Parks Associates predicts the push for healthcare reform from the Obama Administration will ultimately boost adoption of wireless technologies in healthcare. The Federal Government is committed to promoting technology that improves healthcare efficiency, evident in the stimulus funds already allocated to electronic medical records (EMR) adoption, and this focus will open new long-term opportunities for wireless providers.

Parks Associates finds wireless technologies can benefit home care in areas such as chronic care management, medical diagnostic device monitoring, wellness and fitness applications, medication management, and senior independent living solutions.

The report suggests that mobile carriers will leverage their network resources to target vertical markets like healthcare through both wholesale and retail partnerships. Deals such as recent agreements from Verizon Wireless with LifeWatch and Qualcomm will become more commonplace as this market moves into wider availability.

Wireless Healthcare: Analysis and Forecasts analyzes how mobile and wireless networking technologies can transform personal health applications and highlights market opportunities for businesses in the global mobile healthcare market.

For the full press release, click here.

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Digeo's whole-home DVR offering

Digeo, Inc. today announced the introduction of the Moxi Mate digital media player, bringing multi-room viewing to the Moxi HD DVR entertainment experience.

The Moxi Mate connects with the Moxi HD DVR over the home network, so users can browse and play back recorded programs in other rooms. The Moxi Mate can also play media files available from the home network or the Internet on a TV in any room in the house.

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Verizon allows TV viewers to Tweet

Here it comes. Just a few weeks after introducting Twitter and Facebook access on its Widgets Bazaar, Verizon has added enhancements to allow subscribers to use their onscreen keyboard to send Tweets and the ability for subscribers to update their Facebook status with personalized messages.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Broadband-connected TiVos being deployed by cable operators

In our recently-completed Set-top Boxes: Outlook report, we wrote the following:

Consumers report strong interest in the concept of connected consumer electronics, including set-top boxes that link not only to television offerings from their service provider, but also to content hosted on home computers and streaming from the Internet. There is strong demand data for the concept of a set-top box that can pull in content from a variety of sources.

Perhaps more interesting – at least from a service provider’s desire to create new revenue streams – is the percentage of consumers willing to pay additional fees each month for this kind of feature. The percentage of consumers expressing a willingness to pay up to $5.99 per month for such a feature is comparable to the known take rate for Verizon’s Home Media DVR feature, a multi-room DVR and networked set-top box features. Verizon charges FiOS TV subscribers an additional $4 per month for the benefit.

When consumers are asked what features they would find valuable from a connected set-top box, the ability to stream music is the top application. Not too far behind this feature is access to email and customized weather. Access to premium Web video such as TV shows and movies appeals to about half of consumers interested in connected set-top boxes.

There are plenty of ways for cable operators to facilitate delivery of online applications to the set-top box, including transcoding in the network (ActiveVideo Networks or Clearleap, or a homegrown solution being deployed by Verizon), and we've been wondering if browsers will start appearing on more advanced set-top boxes (there is a growing consensus that browsers will be found on many connected consumer electronics). Or, the operator could simply buy a web-enabled set-top box box and deploy it (Digeo, Entone, TiVo, etc.).

There is an interesting announcement from RCN regarding its selection of TiVo as its primary DVR platform. The key to this announcement is the fact that RCN customers with TiVos will be able to access online video through services such as Amazon Video On Demand and other features.

In addition, notes the article from Multichannel News, the TiVo DVR from RCN will let users access trademark TiVo features such as Season Pass and WishList (to automatically record shows based on keywords or other parameters) searches and receive personalized suggestions. Subscribers will be able to schedule recordings via the Web or with mobile devices.

The RCN-TiVo DVR will offer interactive applications, such as viewing pictures and listening to music stored on a home PC, accessing millions of songs from Rhapsody, and receiving weather reports and traffic updates.

RCN is not TiVo's only TV operator win this year, however. CED magazine reports that Earlier this year, Evolution Broadband announced a deal with TiVo to use the latter’s Series 3 high-definition set-top boxes. With its recent waiver from the Federal Communications Commission, the TiVo deal will allow Evolution to offer small- to medium-size cable operators access to Internet content from the likes of Amazon and Netflix, which provides them with a VoD-like service without the expensive network equipment.

Things are definitely getting interesting.

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Monday, August 03, 2009

Interesting collaboration among Miniweb, Intel, and Metrological Media

The connected CE market will have a new solution that will combine aspects of converged internet and broadcast video services, plus targeted, Web-style advertising on the TV. Miniweb Interactive announced today that it is collaborating with Metrological Media Innovations, a provider of middleware and reference designs based on the Intel® Media Processor CE 3100, to provide CE 3100 powered devices with converged internet and broadcast video services. The collaboration integrates the Metrological Metroconnect OS and the Miniweb services platform and will be available to a range of Intel-based consumer electronics (CE) devices, including satellite, cable and terrestrial hybrid set-top boxes and integrated Digital TV sets.

This platform will be as equally attractive to Internet Service Providers looking to converge broadcast content with their existing broadband offering as it will be with cable, satellite and DTV operators that want to combine broadband enabled OTT video with their existing broadcast services. This platform includes support for web-style interaction; centralized video search & recommendations, community functionality as well as advertising and payments services. The platform is now integrated and ready to order for shipment commencing in two months time.

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Here come the cable gateways - Thomson and Comcast

Maybe it's the summer of the cable residential gateway. Following the news that Rogers in Canada would be deploying residential gateways, Thomson and Comcast announced that Advanced Cable Gateways will be available beginning in Q3. Conceived as a home networking and communications hub, these platforms allow Comcast to provide state-of the art digital voice and data services to its customers – including using enhanced cordless telephone handsets to view email, manage voice mail, read news, weather, and sports, and to click-to-call from a universal address book powered by Plaxo, business directory, or call logs.

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