DVRs — Not PCs — will be Home’s Media Center

THE online REPORTER notes that its the DVR — not PCs — which will dominate the home media center:

"It’s increasingly unlikely that the PC will become the media center for the home’s entertainment network; as we have reported previously particularly after the cablecos’ NCTA trade show in April and the telcos’ SuperComm trade show in June. It’s the DVR, not the PC, that will probably emerge as the central repository for home entertainment for a number of reasons:

– DVRs are already connected to a TV – no fiddling around with hooking up a PC.
– Content delivered to a DVR is more secure than that downloaded to a PC. The studios and labels have more confidence in the copy protection of DVRs than they are of PCs.
– DVRs are also capable of storing music, which can be played on the stereo or surround system.
– Media Center PCs are costly, noisy, heat producing and frankly unattractive. They don’t fit into the décor of other home entertainment gear.
– DVRs are already storing lots of entertainment video – movies, TV shows – that come into the home.
– DVRs can be equipped to handle downloaded video and video-on-demand.
– DVRs can store digital pictures and home videos.
– DVRs can be capable of playing on any TV in the home.
– Most homes already have coax cabling that can be used for an entertainment network.
– The cable and satellite TV companies already have an "in" into the home – to the decision maker – with gear already in place and a billing relationship already established.
– DVRs don’t have spyware, malware, spam, adware, viruses or the other maladies that afflict PCs. It’s bad enough dealing with it at the office. Who wants to wrestle with a PC when it’s time to kick back and relax?

What consumers lose with a DVR-based entertainment network is the flexibility and processing that a computer provides. However, the PC has proven to be leaky -and difficult- when it comes to security to integrate with conventional home entertainment gear such as the TV and stereo.

Let no one think that Microsoft hasn’t noticed the PC’s failure to become the center of the home entertainment network. It’s working to become the software that goes into all the IPTV-based DVRs that the world’s phone companies are thinking about buying.

The PC has made a convenient device for ripping and burning PCs and as a way station for getting songs off the Net in order to copy them to a portable music player, but as a video download and storage center, it’s come up short.

Here’s betting the DVR wins out over the PC in the home entertainment space.

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  1. royce commented on Jul 26

    Don’t know about all brands, but my TIVO DVR is at heart a PC. Users can link later models into a home network, taking shows from the DVR’s hard drive and moving them onto the PC for burning or editing or whatever else people do with video on a PC.

    Seems to me what’s more likely is some kind of convergence between the X-box (a PC with a game controller), TIVO and it’s ilk (PC without a keyboard), and the PC (X-box and Tivo without the big screen and comfy couch) as TV monitors move to high definition and more folk have broadband.

  2. Double-oh-steven commented on Aug 12

    I’m predicting a future where your PC and TV will merge. I know a lot of people are saying that they will remain separate, but the idea of plugging your PC up to a 40″ plasma screen seems pretty cool to me. Plus, the japs have developed an LCD screen that shows differant images dependin on your angle in relation to it, so you could have PC on one side, TV on the other, silmotaneously.

    However, I think you’re right about VOD becoming more and more important in the coming years. Keep your eyes peeled, and I’ll keep blogging it, too,

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