The Next Frontier
According to The Diffusion Group research from July of this year, “Less than 10 percent of all broadband networked households have non-PC media devices such as TV or stereos connected to their home network. Given that there are approximately 24 million U.S. broadband households with a home network in use, that means that less than two million U.S. households currently use anything even approximating a ‘home media server’ or ‘home media network.’” This could actually be a promising tool for dealers interested in new ways of reaching consumers.
“Ninety percent of custom install jobs out there are gotten by referrals,” says Shimonishi. “If Mr. and Mrs. Jones are happy with their install, the dealer will be on the tip of their tongue.”
Manufacturers are counting on it, as more of them make IP in-roads. Sampo Digital, a manufacturer of flat-panel TVs, recently teamed up with Oregon Networks, a digital software provider, to network LCD TV with IP servers as a way to enhance popular flat-screen sales. “In order to stay competitive, Sampo needs to offer more than high-definition readiness in its LCD TV products,” says Tom Chen, Sampo’s general manager, in a press statement. “IP connectivity will soon become a part of the everyday experience on a wide range of consumer electronics, including TVs.”