Digital Home

Barron’s writes: “The battle to control the digital home is linked inextricably to the heated fight between the cable and phone sectors for control of your telecom dollars. The rapid spread of wireless phones, combined with the soaring adoption of the Internet-based phone service known as VOIP, has accelerated erosion of the regional Bells’ core residential phone market. That has spurred telcos to make bold moves, ranging from multibillion-dollar projects to compete with their cable rivals in video distribution, to a flurry of mergers with cellular and long-distance outfits. Both cable and phone companies now offer a “triple play” — phone, video and broadband ‘Net access — bundled into a single bill. Add wireless, and you have a quadruple play….In the digital home, consumers will have a rich array of choices. Television lovers will be able to choose among conventional scheduled programs, video on demand, shows recorded on DVRs and material downloaded from the Internet. They will be able to access the music and photos on their PCs via the TV. The television will be able to display e-mail and voice mail, the Web and home security and control systems. And all of this will be accessible from any room in the house — and, eventually, from any place outside the house with an Internet connection…It’s an enormous opportunity. Shane Robison, the chief strategy and technology officer of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), puts the annual revenue from all the affected markets north of $1 trillion. And the roster of combatants eager to snatch a piece of that enormous prize is vast.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.