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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Action Heats Up In Digital Living Room

Marketwatch writes, as home-entertainment centers get more crowded, consumers soon will have new ways to take their digital living rooms out the door.Companies pushing hardware, software and services used to play movies, music and other downloaded content on portable, hand-held devices are in the thick of the action. The proliferation of broadband connections, especially high-speed cable links, is helping drive the trend toward digital delivery of entertainment. CES may also host behind-the-scenes battles for several new technologies, including one for playing high-speed DVDs and another for watching TV on cell phones . The entertainment industry in a tumult – with increasing media ad revenues one finds that it that may not help everyone in the TV and radio industry. Cable systems, networks and entertainment giants, which don't live on advertising alone, say they need a broad increase in consumer spending on subscriptions, DVDs and other entertainment to thrive. Different players are making their own moves in pursuit of a securing their own future/ expanding on business. In digital lifestyle & intensifying service battle we covered that Four large industries - computer makers, consumer-electronics companies, telecommunications providers and entertainment creatorswill feel the shock waves of rapidly developing change in the way the world consumes home entertainment. The battle to control the digital home is linked inextricably to the heated fight between the cable and phone operators. Months later we summarise the key player activities:
- Disney will expand its content-sharing partnership with Apple by selling programming from its ESPN, ABC Sports and ABC News units through Apple's iTunes store
- Viacom's fresh from its iFilm acquisition is beginning to show its muscle. Its MTV unit will sell digital songs and music videos through its own music store, capable of running using Microsoft's media-playing software.
- Comcast, which missed the opportunity to buy AOL traditionally used to see low-cost Web TV content as a threat to their premium subscription business, are now licensing technology from digital video recording pioneer TiVo.
- Cisco, with its Convergent IP vision is pairing cable and computer technology in new products. Cisco's Linksys unit, will soon offer a DVD player with a broadband cable link built in which would be capable of playing video content using Microsoft's Web-friendly Windows Media format, as well as listening to Internet radio.
- Motorola’s latest - iRadio, a monthly radio service with 435 music channels will allow users to store and play digital music on their Motorola cell phones
- Players are still in search for the right business models for mobile delivery content.

In all more exciting & action packed days ahead for the consumer electronics sector and STB segment.

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