Streaming devices proliferate in fiber broadband homes, study says

Fiber broadband-connected homes have a higher number of devices--10 percent more, on average--than homes that connect to the Internet in other ways, a study by Parks Associates reveals. Smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles top the list of devices in those homes.

Parks Associates connected devices in home

Connected devices in broadband homes. (Source: Parks Associates / Calix)

The study, developed by Parks on behalf of Calix, found that broadband homes have an average of seven Internet-connected devices, including the above plus smart TVs, DVRs and streaming media players.

While Calix, a unified access services provider, developed the whitepaper to discuss options for IPTV providers such as gateways, the plethora of connected devices currently sitting in the home reveals the tangled web that is video delivery as well as data analytics from use of such devices.

"Companies including Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) now offer in-home devices that provide them with superior access to consumers," the report, authored by Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks, said. "By increasing the capabilities of these devices, these players can establish in-home platforms for services that will compete directly with operators."

Such direct competition seems a long way off--but right now, Sony, better known for its top-selling PlayStation consoles, is putting together an over-the-top video services package that would stream content from major networks and cable channels. Viacom has signed on already to provide 22 of its popular channels like Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, and the service is on track to launch at the end of 2014, the manufacturer has said.

The only hitch in Sony's virtual MVPD dream is the cost of such a service. The subscription rate for Sony's OTT cable service is reportedly $80 per month, due to a rights negotiating process that left Sony on the short end, according to a New York Post article.

By comparison, Dish Network's pending OTT service, also planned for an end-of-year launch, will offer a $30 per month subscription rate. The satellite operator has already inked deals with Disney (including its ESPN unit), A+E Networks and Scripps Networks. However, Bernstein Research analyst Todd Juenger said in June that Dish couldn't make money at that price point, predicting that its licensing costs alone would exceed $21, with $17 of that coming just from broadcast channels and high-priced ESPN.

For more:
- download the whitepaper here (reg. req.)

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