The Next Frontier
It Takes an Attitude Adjustment
“At CEDIA U.K. two months ago,” says Shimonishi, “a poll of Napster users said that 75 percent hadn’t bought a CD in two years. The Internet is already changing the way people are entertained in their homes.”
In the U.S., IP-based solutions, if successful, may also have the power to change the way A/V specialists work from the ground up. According to the National Association of Home Builders, 34 percent of builders now offer structured wiring packages as standard or optional amenities. But what if some wiring could be eliminated, replaced instead with an IP-based system to control a household’s complete entertainment and lighting systems? “Everything in your home will have an IP address,” says Shimonishi. And the future of distributed home audio and video may have a lot more in common with your PC than your receiver. The most obvious benefit to this system is the ability for home users to connect PCs, PDAs and other Web-enabled devices to the bigger entertainment network. This, in turn, translates into bigger accessory sales, which offer enormous profit margins to retailers.