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Game Consoles to Fuel Digital Media Adapter Market

184 Million Digital Media Adapters in Homes in 2012, says ABI Research

The installed base of Digital Media Adapters (DMAs) – those freestanding or embedded devices that allow users to route audiovisual content to their TVs and stereo systems – is expected to number about 184 million in 2012. But according to a new study from ABI Research, only a little more than 11% of those will be dedicated standalone devices, and fully 85% will be embedded in game consoles.

“Game consoles increasingly include DMA functionality, helping to grow the market,” says principal analyst Steve Wilson. “The manufacturers are aiming to make their consoles more like ‘media center’ devices, rather than being just for gaming. The advantage they have is market share: their products ship in large volumes. The big question is whether gamers will actually make use of this added functionality built into their consoles.

DMAs are being embedded in other kinds of devices too, although in much lower numbers. TVs, set-top boxes, and DVD players are all logical candidates for the technology. Sony recently introduced its Bravia Internet Video Link, for example, which will connect its Bravia line of televisions to specific Internet sites offering online entertainment. A few other TV makers are following similar paths.

“People want fewer ‘boxes’ in their homes, not more,” says Wilson, “so the opportunity is there for consumer electronics manufacturers to embed this technology; although so far it is largely the computer network manufacturers who are embracing the concept, rather than CE vendors.”

Companies now coming to market are aiming to offer a complete solution rather than a simple box that can connect up to a PC. Microsoft and Sony both have online content sites and ABI Research expects that trend to continue with other vendors. DMAs are increasingly providing connectivity directly to the internet as well as the home PC.

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ABI Research expects that when the Microsoft Media Center Extender (MCX) 2.0 technology comes to market in the autumn, there will be another surge in interest in products of this type.

Listen to a podcast (http://data.abiresearch.com/podcasts/ABI_Research_DMA_Podcast.mp3): Steve Wilson and Michael Wolf, ABI Research’s Research Director, Digital Home, discuss the growing role of DMAs in home entertainment.

ABI Research’s new study, Digital Video Adapters in the Living Room (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/market_research/DMA), explores the issues surrounding growth in the DMA market, DMA feature sets, and other devices incorporating DMA clients. It examines key players in the market, and provides market forecasts through 2012.

It forms part of two ABI Research Services, Digital Media (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/service/Digital_Media_Research_Service), and Home Networking (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/service/Home_Networking_Research_ ervice).

Founded in 1990 and headquartered in New York, ABI Research maintains global operations supporting annual research programs, intelligence services and market reports in broadband and multimedia, RFID & contactless, M2M, wireless connectivity, mobile wireless, transportation, and emerging technologies. For information visit http://www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.

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