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Media Servers in the Digital Home
Kurt Scherf
Parks Associates

The manner by which consumers will access, store, and share personal and commercial content is undergoing a fundamental change, thanks to both demand- and supply-side drivers.

As end users build personal libraries of self-generated digital content (primarily photos and home videos) and acquire commercial content such as digital music and video, they will be seeking more secure backup and sharing solutions.

At the same time, competitive pressures and the needs of both service providers and end-user equipment manufacturers are encouraging industry players to develop and deploy differentiated consumer electronics and home computer form factors, characterized by ever-increasing storage, home networking capabilities, and the capability of sharing different content and services in and outside of the home.

These push and pull drivers set the stage for the widespread availability and uptake of so-called “media servers,” a dynamic category of products that will expand the reach of a variety of players – service providers, equipment manufacturers, home networking vendors, and other component providers.

This paper focuses on the growth opportunities for a number of product form factors that fit the definition of in-home media servers. It provides commentary on both industry and consumer drivers for the distribution and uptake of media servers.

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