Tuesday, 06 June 2006 19:35

Video supplements to boost entertainment on PCs

According to IDC's latest Digital Home research, "Australia Digital Home Consumer Usage Survey 2006: Domo Arigato, Mr Roboto!", IDC finds the position of the PC as a digital entertainment platform is strengthening.

"The majority of survey respondents have digital photos (70.3%) and music files (69.2%) stored on their PCs. About 44.1% of respondents play music on their PCs at least once a week, indicating that music playback on the PC is an activity most consumers are accustomed to," said Sophie Lo, Research Analyst, Consumer Digital Markets.

Compared with digital photos and music, relatively few respondents store video content of any type on PCs. Generation Y consumers however, are more likely to have video content on their PCs. Respondents aged from 18 to 24 were found to be almost twice as likely to store video content on their PCs than the average respondent.

Furthermore, over 70% of respondents indicated they never watch or record TV shows on their PCs, yet a significant portion of the respondents play back DVDs (23.9%). IDC found respondents across all age segments (except for 60+) are equally likely to use the PC for this purpose. This implies some consumers are generally comfortable watching videos on their PCs as long as it is easy / seamless process for them to obtain and play back the content.

IDC believes the increased number of online video services and higher residential broadband penetration will be key in attracting an additional wave of consumers. As a result PCs will be optimized for entertainment purposes.

"The increased availability of top-tier content online will gradually guide consumers to the PC for video sources and encourage consumers to store videos on PCs. Broadband Internet access will also make it relatively seamless for consumers to obtain the content, further establishing the PC as an important platform for digital entertainment," noted Ms Lo.

On average, broadband households are almost twice as likely to have any type of digital media stored on their PCs when compared with dial-up households or households without Internet access.

However, IDC warns IT vendors of the threats that local telcos can impose. As overseas examples demonstrate, the telco -delivered "intelligent" set top box can become the single point of entry for communications and home entertainment. France Telecom for example, introduced the Livebox in July 2004, which is equipped with an asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) modem plus Ethernet, WiFi and Bluetooth interfaces to accommodate all types of digital devices. The Livebox also enables users to surf the Internet, watch HDTV (High Definition Television) via ADSL, make VoIP (Voice Over Internet) calls or video calls and play network games.

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Stan Beer


Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.





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