An increasing number of multimedia/media-center PCs will be used as residential gateways, according to a recent IMS Research study.
About 19 million of these gateway media devices are forecast to be shipped for this purpose in 2009, representing a growth of more than 200% from 2003 and a market worth over $9 billion in annual revenue.
The concept of the multimedia/media-center PC is expected to prove popular with consumers. For example, it will be especially beneficial to parents whose children enjoy PCs, TVs, game consoles and music systems, since these can all be provided from one unit. This device could also function as a DVD and CD player and as a digital-video recorder.
IMS expects the proportion of new and replacement PCs that fall into this category to grow very sharply.
“In order to be a true residential gateway, multimedia/media-center PCs must be able to serve as digital-media hubs by connecting content to other CE [consumer-electronics] equipment, such as the TV set or audio tuner,” IMS market analyst Jack Mayo said in a prepared statement.
“While many of these PCs will still be operated as stand-alone devices, the number that will be functioning as gateways is expected to increase significantly,” he added.
In the second edition of the study, The Worldwide Market for Home Networks and Residential Gateways, IMS provides a detailed analysis of the home-network market, with forecasts for the number of installations and consumer broadband connections by type and by region.
The study also takes an in-depth look at residential gateways and home-network-equipment shipments and revenue from 2003-09, covering all network types, including Ethernet, FireWire, 802.11, HomePlug, HomePNA and narrowband power-line transmission.