50 mln US households to have home media networks by year-end 2005

With technical standards development and consumer education challenges for vendors still looming large but becoming less burdensome, media networking will continue to grow rapidly through 2009, reports In-Stat. Total media networking connections in homes will grow from over 50 mln in 2005 to over 200 mln in 2009, a 29% compound annual growth rate. Much of the growth will be driven by PC vendors, who are rolling out Media Center PCs that fit the living room in terms of style and function.

The Media Center PCs are still considered premium consumer PCs, but In-Stat expects that their media hub features will become standard on almost all PCs within the next three years. Despite the market’s growth, many technical issues will continue to persist. For example, the next-generation wireless standard, 802.11n, has not been finished and will not be complete until 2006. Outside of the technical readiness of the standards enabling media networking, there is still the need to create the awareness and demand for these products among end users.