Home network technologies such as coax and powerline are making inroads in connecting consumer electronics (CE) devices, but a report from ABI Research indicates that wireless connections will remain the dominant technology. According to ABI’s study “Home Networking and Digital Home Network Market Analysis,” connected CE devices are frequently scattered around the home, away from the router, making wired connections impractical. As a result, Wi-Fi connections in CE devices will rise from 113 million in 2008 to more than 285 million by 2012.
“While many consumer electronics devices initially adopted Ethernet connections due to cost and potential wireless connectivity issues, Wi-Fi has become the dominant LAN connection type in several device categories,” says digital home practice director Jason Blackwell. “Now we’re seeing Wi-Fi making its way more aggressively into components including digital televisions.”
As bandwidth-intensive applications such as video streaming have become more commonplace, Wi-Fi has evolved with higher speed technologies such as 802.11n. Ethernet will remain a strong second place technology, as it is often integrated in the silicon and does not add a significant amount to the bill of materials costs. Over time, powerline, coax, and high-speed wireless connections will show growth in adoption, especially among service providers.