As I’ve mentioned before, I have a strange and wonderful love affair with TV. In fact, there’s a TV hooked up to a digital cable box in nearly every room in my house (one of the things I really like about being on the road for business is TV in the bathroom in the better-equipped hotels).

I also now use a fancy MacBook Pro laptop that’s spectacular for video viewing plus a smartphone capable of amazing things. None of this gear, however, is networked to each other.

And when my building was under construction, besides the fancy kitchen, I opted to have Monster cable installed, thinking it might be a good idea for theater-quality audio and video. Note to self: bad idea in a multi-dwelling unit. Some neighbors were not as thrilled with the upgraded screaming of Formula One race cars (and the related vibration) as I was. Pity.

So, what to do with all this stuff in the new age of “I want my content where I want it, when I want it and on the device of my choice and, by the way, I’ve already paid for the cable subscription so I don’t want any added charges for watching on my laptop or phone?”

According to ABI Research, total revenues for network-connected devices could top $94 billion this year, up from $74 billion in 2009. Not only will this uptick help bolster the bottom lines of “traditional” sellers of home-networking gear (including Cisco, Netgear and relative newcomers Apple, Roku and Vudo), it could end up benefitting cable, telco and wireless providers as well. “Initially, Wi-Fi will provide the majority of connections; Ethernet will place a strong second,” ABI says. “Over time, powerline, coax and high-speed wireless connections will show strong adoption growth rates.”

I have coax. I have a high-speed wireless connection. I have access to Wi-Fi. Many of you do, too. But what if, like me, you’re monetarily and/or “installationally” challenged?

At the recent Qualcomm-sponsored “Uplinq” conference in San Diego, I had the chance to watch a demo of what I think will be one of the biggest home-networking applications flying under the radar today – one that links all the personal and purchased content/programming in your home or can take it to someone else’s. The remote-control device is your smartphone. And it works with off-the-shelf consumer gear.

Comes the day this app goes commercial, one of the smartest things broadband service providers could do is add it to their revenue mixes, and it won’t break the capex/opex bank. Stay tuned to CT for more on this development later this year.

But until that time comes, where did I put that remote and why can’t I find anyplace to buy blank VCR tape anymore?

The Daily


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