Multi-screen content consumption is hitting the mainstream and CE manufacturers are fully on board, according to new research that forecasts the number of IP-enabled consumer electronics devices shipped will approach 2.5 billion this year and rise to 3.5 billion in 2015.
IMS Research also said shipments of residential data modems and gateways will reach 135 million in 2012, as the "concept of convergence within the home is gaining momentum in terms of deployment of actual solutions and consumers' usage of these solutions."
"For example, the multi-room DVR deployments enabled by the DLNA Premium Video protocol suite, demonstrate one of the first converged home media architectures where a primary server device distributes content to thin clients around the home," said Anna Hunt, principal analyst at IMS Research.
IMS said the increasing adoption of fixed broadband connectivity into homes, along with the proliferation of wired and wireless home networking, also was driving the transition forward.
Other key factors include a growing installed base of IP-enabled CE devices, increased understanding of how to secure content distribution in iOS and Android applications, open-standard encryption protocols such as DLNA Premium Video (DTCP-IP) and new content distribution contracts that specifically allow for multi-screen distribution.
IMS also highlighted hardware innovations, such as adaptive transcoding and ultra-high-bandwidth modems.
Previous attempts to implement (multi-screen ecosystems) have provided a sub-par user experience," says Stephen Froehlich, senior analyst at IMS Research. "However, 2012 will be the year that this all changes. Numerous vendors at this year's CES, for instance, demonstrated products which showed real, highly complex, incredibly powerful and scalable solutions to the incredibly difficult problem of delivering a converged, multi-screen television experience."
Froehlich said smartphones and tablets will become increasingly important in the ecosystem as wireless technologies evolve to seamlessly share content.
"Service providers are focusing on evolving their strategies to encompass the multiple devices and screens used by consumers in the consumption of advanced broadband services," he said.
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