Network Blu-ray Players Expected to Overtake Game Consoles in CE Network Client Growth

We’ve known for a while now game consoles have had the lead as the most commonly connected network entertainment device in people’s homes – due in large part to popularity of online gaming. But now analysts like In-Stat are starting to take notice of the current crop of Network Blu-ray Players from Samsung and LG, which provide online content access to on-demand video and music services, and believe that this platform may soon overtake game consoles and traditional digital media adapters as the preferred networked device to drive online entertainment to the TV.

In-Stat also chimes in on why people haven’t purchased more network devices for their home: “The primary reasons that more devices are not connected to home networks are: consumer awareness / knowledge, availability of network-capable CE products on retail shelves, prices of network-capable CE products, competition with non-network-capable CE products (like docking stations), and lack of perceived need by some consumers.”

My 2-cents: It’s a tough call if network Blu-ray players will overtake game consoles. In order for that to happen, people have to have the desire to purchase a Blu-ray player in the first place to play HD movies off a disc. We know people like to play games on a console, so that demand isn’t going to subside anytime soon. However, many analysts have suggested that viewing movies from a physical disc is seeing its final days and people will soon be migrating to low-cost digital media adapters and/or using their game consoles to watch premium (standard definition & HD) movies on-demand as well as free Internet content.

According to In-Stat, Game Consoles Are Most Connected Current Consumer Electronics (CE) Device, but Blu-ray Players/Recorders Will Lead CE Network Client Growth

While few home network users currently have permanent connections between their Consumer electronics (CE) devices and their home networks, those that do most commonly connect their game console, reports In-Stat. As more connected CE devices become available, In-Stat expects Blu-ray DVD players/recorders will lead CE network client growth.

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

  • Almost 43% of the Windows PCs used in North American homes in June 2008 had Media Center functionality, up from 32% in 2007.
  • The worldwide media server-capable device market is estimated at $50 billion in 2008.
  • In-Stat’s consumer survey reveals that 64% of US respondents are somewhat, very or extremely interested in watching Internet-based streaming video on their household TV.
  • A proliferating set of competitors are offering a range of Digital Media Adapter/Player/Receiver (DMA/DMP/DMR) devices, including Apple, Cisco, Denon, Hewlett-Packard, Roku, Samsung, and many others.

The research, Global Networked Media Clients & Servers 2009 Update: Clients Growing but Struggling (#IN0804088RC), covers the worldwide market for home networking-enabled products. It provides:

  • Worldwide forecasts through 2012 for each market segment including network-enabled units and segmentations for wired-only and wireless
  • The worldwide installed base of home networks
  • The worldwide installed base of home networks with both PC and CE devices
  • Detailed consumer survey results reflecting digital home multimedia networking
  • Market analysis of
    • PCs with a Media Center-enabled OS
    • Basic media servers
    • PCs with a Media Center-enabled OS plus TV tuner
    • Non-PC devices w/embedded media servers (e.g., set-top boxes, digital media adapters/digital media receivers, network storage, etc.)
    • Total media server-capable devices

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Filed in: Industry Buzz, Streaming Media Devices

1 Reaction to “Network Blu-ray Players Expected to Overtake Game Consoles in CE Network Client Growth”

  1. Joe says:

    I’ve been holding out on buying a bookshelf/mini-component system in the hopes that one of the major retail electronics manufacturers would come up with a simple all-in-one (FM/Internet radio, MP3, DVD/Blue Ray, divx, wmv, avi, …) device that would have an RJ45 connection and a built in wireless access point. While I agree that awareness and knowledge may account for lack of demand, I believe that if network capable multi-media devices were available they would create there own market. If manufacturers are waiting for consumer demand to introduce these types of devices they’re missing a huge opportunity. Most people don’t want a computer (media center PC) in there living room – they want entertainment devices that can take advantage of their existing home network.