Technology firms using the media centre hubs as Trojan horses
Technology firms using the media centre hubs as Trojan horses to gain a foothold within the living room and become the gateway of the connected home are doomed to failure, according to a new report by Informa Telecoms & Media.
In a new report, the analyst points the way forward for the connected TV home and says that in a industry that is based on a huge variety of devices and services, what will not work will be to launch devices that did not support third-party services but rather promoted their own, device-specific, video stores or services.
In the report, Informa Research analyst Andrew Ladbrook argues that the connected home has evolved, being no longer just about connecting several PCs scattered around the house to the Internet, but about connecting any number of devices to the network so that users can access their content wherever they are in the home.
This approach, suggests the analyst, has by and large failed to impress users and usage has been limited. In particular, the analyst points to Apple TV, one of the first such mainstream devices as being based around this model, describing it as “the most high-profile failure in the field.” It added: “Its failure highlights a crucial trend – that no single device or manufacturer will dominate the connected home.”
Even though he believed that consoles will make the early running, Ladbrook predicts that they will be usurped by connected TVs. The researcher makes the contrast between what the games companies are doing, opening up previously closed platforms, and how Apple TV worked.
It says that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console is a classic example, extending the IT giant’s influence from the PC to the TV, and complementing other verticals such as Mediaroom and Silverlight, IPTV platform and online video standards, respectively. It highlights the introduction of the Netflix video service on the Xbox and the BBC iPlayer on the PlayStation 3 as what will increasingly happen.
The report concludes by saying that what is clear is that users are more interested in getting the services that they have become accustomed to on the Internet and their PC on the TV as well. It suggests that the connected home will not made up exclusively of connected TVs and consoles.
Other devices will carve out niches for themselves for those users who want greater freedom in what online content they can view on the TV.
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