It’s difficult to get online today and NOT see an ad, announcement, rumor or discussion on the new breed of TV-connected computing devices like the Apple TV and Google TV. Also known as a “digital media adapter” (DMA), media extender, Internet-enabled living room device, or by one of about ten other terms, DMAs are popping up all over the place faster than kudzu. Consumers are interested by the thought of getting convenient access to movies, music, and even the Internet.
Little known just a few years ago, brands like Netflix and Pandora have become commonplace. More advanced users appreciate the former but also getting living room access to their own local content and even the Internet. This is a multi-part blog series where I explore the devices, usage models, pros/cons, pricing, and future implications of these DMAs and the industry impact.
None of these concepts are new. I have been connecting a PC to my TV, with mixed results, for 15 years. RememberWebTV? Microsoft digital media adapters have been around for years. So what do the analysts say?
iSuppli predicts “shipments of Internet-enabled living room devices—a range of products including Internet-enabled television sets, video game consoles and set-top boxes—are forecasted to amount to more than 430 million units in 2014, up from 99.3 million in 2009.” Like all predictions, we must all dive into the “why”. I hope to extract the “why” or “why not” as we move forward.
I plan on looking at the following devices:
- Apple TV
- Google TV by Logitech
- Boxee Box
- WD TV Live Hub
- Xbox 360
- Networked Blu-ray Player
- Windows PC
I could have added a lot more, but these devices are broad enough to get the real sense of the segmented capabilities.
On these devices I will look at the aspects like:
- Video content
- Music content
- Photo content
- Game content
- Social Media
- Home Connectivity
In Part 2, I will dive into the Apple TV and provide a rundown on its capabilities, pros/cons and usage models.