The launch of home media platforms from companies such as Intel, Apple and Microsoft coincided with the fact that the first Internet media companies were looking beyond the current media and telco developments. They see broadband penetration moving rapidly towards 50% of households and new wireless broadband will add the personal market to this as well. With this in place, companies are now preparing for the new business opportunities to deliver a whole new range of home media services to their customers.
There has been speculation for the past couple of years that the Android Operating System (OS) might be adapted in the future to become a home media entertainment system. In 2009 it was reported that MIPS Technologies was developing extensions to the OS that would support High-Definition (HD) video, Blu- ray players, Set-Top boxes (STBs) and home automation technology. While it is quite a challenge to adapt a mobile platform for home entertainment purposes, the concept appeared to be gaining traction in 2010 with reports that Scientific Atlanta, Motorola, AMX, Control 4 and Crestron Electronics were all researching the possibilities for the OS.
In early 2011, developments took a step further with manufacturers like Shenzen Ider Technology, Cideko and Zinwell, demonstrating their Android STBs at the 2011 CeBit trade show – and a flood of similar products based on Android are expected over the next 12 months.
Interestingly, in August 2011 Google placed a bid to acquire Motorola Mobility, giving it access to Motorola’s Set-Top Box (STB) expertise and presence.
For further information, see separate reports: Google – An Innovative Leader on the Move.
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