Next generation home video distribution is happening now - CES 2012

CES was certainly full of interesting solutions for video delivery, however, as a team, the Consumer Electronics Group here at IMS Research were very taken by the fact that there was nothing truly revolutionary announced at the show this year.


IMS research: excellence in market intelligneceCES was certainly full of interesting solutions for video delivery, however, as a team, the Consumer Electronics Group here at IMS Research were very taken by the fact that there was nothing truly revolutionary announced at the show this year.  However, as a team, we were also truly amazed by the large scale and very rapid evolution of ideas to solutions ready or nearly ready for deployment into consumer households.

One of the more interesting narratives over the past year has been the topic of Over-the-Top video delivery, with video providers left scrambling for solutions to meet a growing consumer demand for video on any device at any time.  A priority has been placed on home network distribution, either via DLNA or home network Wi-Fi.  I remember sitting in on a panel in November of 2010 and hearing panelists agree that leveraging household Wi-Fi to deliver high quality video would be ambitious at best.  I remember feeling a bit skeptical myself about the logistics of pulling off such a task.  There were even doubts about the “pipe around the home” not being able to handle all that content at a high quality level.

And yet, barely more than a year later, we have companies such as Airties, LG, Technicolor, and ZyXEL, along with several others, deploying network attached storage (NAS) devices and solutions capable of streaming HD quality video over home Wi-Fi networks.  These devices have the benefit of not only acting as a DVR, but the ability to distribute content throughout the home network to various devices, resulting in a very attractive (compelling?) use-case for the consumer.  With a NAS device in the home, a consumer can truly begin to consume content on any device.  The solutions were also interesting in that they could be simultaneously mirrored in the Cloud, which allows the consumer on the go to consume content remotely from the NAS device, with DRM remaining intact.

The focus has shifted away from the bandwidth in and around the home back to the last mile.  It always shifts back to the last mile, which is why my next project is exploring the impact that Telco deployed CDNs will have on the logistics of video delivery, examining both the CAPEX and OPEX costs and benefits of deployment.

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