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2001: A Closer Look

November 8, 2010
Dealers and integrators of all stripes are constantly looking for the next product, technology and solution that will drive sales, profits and customer traffic. In its annual “Five Technology Trends to Watch” report, the Consumer Electronics Association identified video delivery, advances in mobile broadband/4G, green technologies and apps as some areas to keep a close eye on during the next year. Here are four highlights from the report, which was written by CEA staff.

1. The Future of Video Distribution and Consumption
Before we explore the future of video distribution, we have to paint a picture of what the typical connected home will look like five short years from now: Large flat-panel HD displays (40 to 60 inches) will hang on the walls, medium ones (12 to 24 inches) will sit on tables and countertops, while 4- to 12-inch portable display devices will go wherever the user takes them.

These displays will be connected to a home router via dial-band Wi-Fi. Forget about stray cables and wires. There will be no dedicated set-top boxes and no physical media players, according to Deepak Joseph, CEA’s director of technologies and standards. All phone, audio and data will be delivered as IP services via apps over a robust 50-100 Mbps connection. Those services (phone, A/V, data, social networking, etc.) can be accessed from all or one of your screens.

That scenario is similar to what many connected homes are close to achieving today. The key difference will be in the delivery of HD video. Consumers will relate more to individual programs, shows and content, rather than the aggregator/channels that deliver them, Joseph wrote. They will proactively discover, recommend, manage and view their programming/content of choice.

Most of that can be done today in varying degrees. But in 2016, consumers will do the same in a more out-of-the-box and seamless manner, Joseph wrote. The evolution of Ethernet-capable TVs and connected portable devices, combined with more innovative apps and widgets, will continue to drive the CE experience.
How does all of this impact retailers? They will have to get involved in the electronics distribution of content as physical media sales dry up, and they’ll have to upsell their customer base as the video viewing transformation progresses.

They’re also encouraged to develop a branded content store app. Walmart’s acquisition of Vudu and Best Buy’s Cinema Now partnership are two examples of that. Retailers should also expand their platform across other devices they sell, similar to Verizon’s Droid strategy, which spans device OEMs.
 

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