The "Idiot Box" Is Getting Smarter

The first generation of digital televisions was rather like some Hollywood starlets: slim, sleek and beautiful, but not especially smart. That is changing.

Oyster Bay, NY - November 4, 2004 - The first generation of digital televisions was rather like some Hollywood starlets: slim, sleek and beautiful, but not especially smart.


That is changing with the second wave of digital TVs, according to Vamsi Sistla, ABI Research's director of residential entertainment technologies. New models from CE giants Hitachi, LG and Philips offer "enough intelligence to play a much bigger role in the home entertainment experience," he says.

"They have hard drive storage, built in Interactive Program Guides (IPGs) and are digital cable ready".

Right now, the hard drives are ostensibly there to support the software -based program guides, but some new models boast 80 GB disks - - far more than is required for any EPG, and clearly intended ultimately to serve as storage for downloaded video.

Recording content to an internal drive for later viewing will clearly offer users a much more seamless and convenient experience than cranking up the old VCR. These DTVs with appropriate interfaces address content owners' concerns about illegal proliferation of their premium content.

But Sistla closes with a caveat. Noting that some models even include extraneous devices such as printer ports, he warns, "It's great that manufacturers are making more intelligent TVs. But they should resist the temptation to include every possible feature. That's just turning the 'idiot box' into Pandora's box."

ABI Research's "Residential Entertainment Service" details the global shipments, revenues, and average selling prices (ASP) for major CE device categories. The service also includes coverage of digital television (DTV) displays, DVD players and recorders, HD DVD players/recorders, retail PVRs, media centers, Home -Theater -In -a -Box, and network -enabled devices.

The company's report "The Emergence of Portable Audio, Video & Game Markets" looks at the global trends in shipment, average selling price (ASP), and revenue growth across portable audio, video and game devices.

Founded in 1990 and headquartered in New York, ABI Research maintains global operations that support annual research programs, quarterly intelligence services and market reports in wireless, automotive, semiconductors, broadband, and energy. Their market research products can be found on the web at www.abiresearch.com, or by calling 516.624.2500.

Featured Product

ELK Products -C1M1 Dual-Path Alarm Communicators with Remote Services

ELK Products -C1M1 Dual-Path Alarm Communicators with Remote Services

C1M1 offers a truly significant reduction in transmission time in comparison to other communicators that rely on dial capture or data bus decoding. This can result in quicker response time to emergency situations which could save lives and assets. By providing both IP and cellular pathways, C1M1 provides the reliability installers are looking for in an alarm communicator. C1M1 eliminates port forwarding and extra fees for remote access. Installers can remotely upload/download programming changes to M1 controls over IP or cellular using ElkRP2. Consumers can control the M1 remotely via the free ElkLink mobile app and web portal, as well as eKeypad and M1 Touch Pro apps. Other IP-based software and interface partners can connect to the M1 control over the local network through C1M1. C1M1 also provides email/text notifications for arm, disarm, and alarm events. ELK-C1M14GSM supports GSM (AT&T/T-Mobile) networks and ELK-C1M1CDMA supports CDMA (Verizon) networks.