Trends of 2011 and the Storylines for 2012

Many thanks to our friends at Parks Associates for this great summary of what happened last year and what to expect over the next.

Spotlight on Ultraviolet

Spotlight on Ultraviolet Ultraviolet promises to be the digital movie locker in the cloud. Momentum seems to be gathering with a few major players (Samsung, Amazon and Paramount) signing up recently. I decided to take it for a spin and see if the reality matched the PR hype.

2012 will be the year of Home Automation

I know what you're thinking: another "year of X" prediction that has as much chance of coming to fruition as I have of winning the lottery. (I'm still waiting for smell-o-vision.) So, why am I so keen to stake my reputation on this? One reason: the number of entry level systems appearing on the market. We'll be reviewing some of these over coming months, but for now we'll just list some of the major contenders. Mark Anderson is a long-time home theater enthusiast and lives on the bleeding edge of Home Automation. He will be covering everything related to Home Automation and AV. He is also a regular contributor to avystemsmag.com, where he covers commercial AV and automation.Please welcome Mark to the HomeToys team.

The Data-driven Video Discovery Evolution

Expanded consumer choice and interaction are disruptive forces for providers, consumer electronics manufacturers, content owners, and advertisers. Time-shifted viewing via the DVR or video-on-demand in combination with video options via the Internet has created an increasingly fragmented consumer "television" experience. And although live television still dominates viewing in a typical U.S. TV household, viewers are supplementing this experience with additional options.

What can you expect in today's conference rooms?

To grow, a company has to spend money.  Many companies upgrade the technology for their employees, but they often forget the potential of their conference rooms.  Before the first piece of equipment is purchased, a company needs to evaluate how the room will be used, the esthetics of the room, and the layout. 

Service Providers and the Connected Home

As consumers buy more connected and smart CE, there will be a greater need to bring these devices into the home network configuration and provide at least basic management functionality to ensure a high quality of experience, particularly in their use as video playback devices. To account for the variety of consumer desires, as well as regional differences as to which digital home features matter most, DSPs need flexible activation, provisioning, and monitoring solutions that are capable of providing support for a great many devices and services.

CES Trends: Four Promising Trends from the World's Largest Consumer Technology Show

Product Development Technologies (PDT), a global, full-service product development firm, has named their top four trends from the recent 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).  The list is compiled by PDT's team of experienced product developers who have helped create products for some of the world's leading technology companies.

What

For the foreseeable future, online data/backup services will complement local storage such as computers and attached hard drives because they provide redundancy and the flexibility of multiplatform access. Online solutions will not reduce the need for robust storage in the home over the next five years, but it could eventually bring forth the long-anticipated arrival of "thin client" computing, where devices don't have to rely on large amounts of storage and processing. But it's a long-term evolution, and it will be awhile before consumers start to see their local storage and computing needs diminish.

3 Technologies from CES

CES was a great experience for me this year, being the first opportunity I've had in over 3 years to go because of my deployment to Iraq. The energy of the show felt entirely upbeat and positive, full of optimism for this New Year and the new technologies that will literally dominate our lives. With such an abundance of amazing technological innovation happening all around us, I find it hard to believe that anyone can not be absolutely thrilled about the direction we are moving! So with that, I'd like to present a few of the technologies that I feel are going to be major influencers around our homes this year.

Rethinking The Last Analog Mile:

So, here's the $64,000 question:  With all the trends in content and technology already headed for a full-digital future, why is it that most multi-room home a/v systems still use analog to distribute audio and video content?  Even more ludicrous, all of these systems are starting with content that's in digital format and converting it to analog in order to route it around the home.

The Connected TV and Video Experience:

While the electronic program guide (EPG) helps by organizing available content and relevant metadata for review, systems with enhanced search functionality and content recommendations allow consumers greater control over the discovery and evaluation process and thus play a significant role in promoting content and maintaining customer satisfaction. While these search-and-recommendation methods differ among solution providers, each system relies on a combination of information sources.

Consumer Attitudes and the Benefits of Smart Grid Technologies

Consumer attitudes about the benefits of smart grid technology are still in a formative stage. Most consumers are not aware of the term, much less the capabilities smart grid technologies will be bringing in the next few years.

To Internet Or Not To Internet

The bottom line? While the Internet is an amazingly useful tool, it is not appropriate for every application - in spite of the efforts being made to tout it as such. Basic understanding of the limitations involved will help educated consumers make purchasing decisions that reflect their needs regardless of current techo-fashion trends or external market pressures.

Are Internet HDTVs The Next Big Thing?

Internet TVs have been around in some fashion for a while now, let's call it year 3, and actual sales results have been, well, lukewarm. It was CES 2009 that kicked off the first big year for Internet TVs as 2008 was really a starter year with unit sales of little over a half a million.

Google TV - Searching for Success

Kurt Scherf studies developments in home networks, residential gateways, digital entertainment services, consumer electronics, and digital home technical support services. Kurt is the sole author or contributing author/analyst to more than 80 research reports and studies produced by Parks Associates since 1998.

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