Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Home Networks Heating Up

Today, the HomePlug Alliance announced that a joint proposal from the Alliance and Panasonic is the sole MAC/PHY proposal remaining in the IEEE P1901 work group process for creating an international standard for in-home and access powerline communication technologies. This is significant, because Panasonic was pursuing its own proprietary powerline solution (HD-PLC) after its submission to HomePlug for the HomePlug AV specification was not selected. For awhile, we had three competing solutions - HomePlug, Panasonic, and the solutions from Spanish chip developer Design of Systems of Silicon S.A. (DS2).

Although DS2's underlying technology was not selected by the IEEE P1901 work group, the company isn't sitting still. It indicates that it will have a 400 Mbps solution out soon. And, DS2 has an impressive list of European service providers that it says are taking a look at its solution. Europe may be where this market is won or lost. Given the strong emphasis on solutions such as bridges for IPTV and multi-service residential gateways, Europe is likely to be the leading market for powerline solutions. We're waiting to see which service providers and CPE vendors are willing to go public with their support for either the HomePlug or the DS2 solution. One suspects that many are waiting for a standards resolution in the IEEE before making a public affirmation of either technology.

In the meantime, both Entropic/MoCA and CopperGate/HomePNA were quite visible at last week's TelcoTV conference. CopperGate has announced 2 million HomePNA 3.1 chipsets shipped, and indications are that it is receiving favorable attention from the smaller telco community. As in the case of the powerline solutions, we're evaluating based on real deployments. So far, Verizon with MoCA is the only public deployment of which we're aware to date.

~Kurt Scherf, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Parks Associates

Monday, October 29, 2007

CONNECTIONS™ Europe Sessions - Day 2

Wednesday 5 December
Opening Comments and Welcome
The Consumer Across All Four Pillars

Technological advances are key to driving the digital lifestyle markets forward, but is consumer demand keeping pace with innovation? Parks Associates opens Day 2 with insight and analysis of the global consumer across our four Digital Home Pillars. This presentation includes data from Parks Associates’ groundbreaking worldwide research Global Digital Living I and II.

John Barrett, Director of Research, Parks Associates
Stuart Sikes, President, Parks Associates

CONNECTIONS™ Europe Agenda

CONNECTIONS™ Europe Sessions - Day 2

Wednesday 5 December
Sponsored by Macrovision
CONNECTIONS™ Europe Agenda

CONNECTIONS™ Europe Sessions - Day 1

Tuesday 4 December
Wine and Cheese Reception

Please join CONNECTIONS™ Europe for a Wine and Cheese Reception.

CONNECTIONS™ Europe Agenda

CONNECTIONS™ Europe Sessions - Day 1

Tuesday 4 December
What’s Next with Television?

Europe has now taken the lead in IPTV deployments, and the market for television on the European continent is highly dynamic. With cable, satellite, and digital terrestrial joining IPTV as options for digital TV, how do video services differentiate in order to grow and retain their customer bases? This panel examines the trends, technologies, and the “next big thing” that will characterize television in Europe.

Kurt Scherf, Vice President and Principal Analyst, Parks Associates

Jonathan Beavon, Director, Segment Marketing, NDS Limited
David Keeley, Chief Technology Officer, Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Motorola, Inc.
Nora Maene, Multimedia Solution Marketing Manager, Alcatel-Lucent
Dr. Fee Steinhoff, Project Field Manager MASF, Deutsche Telekom AG, Laboratories
More speakers TBA

CONNECTIONS™ Europe Agenda

Friday, October 26, 2007

CONNECTIONS™ Europe Sessions - Day 1

Tuesday 4 December
Opening Keynote: Embracing IPTV Services and Deployment

IPTV services are helping to provide differentiation in a hyper-competitive European telecom environment. This keynote presentation focuses on the role of IPTV in the context of converged communications and entertainment services and provides insight into the evolution of IPTV services including interactive features, new services, and different entertainment experiences.

Andreas Mueller-Schubert
General Manager, Global Solutions
Microsoft TV

CONNECTIONS™ Europe Agenda

CONNECTIONS™ Europe Sessions - Day 1

Tuesday 4 December
IPTV and Interactive TV
From the Chair: Video Services in the Context of the Digital Home

Pillar 1 of The Digital Home is IPTV and Interactive TV, which lays the foundation for entertainment services, home networking, communications, and value-added applications. The Analyst Chair opens this session with an examination and key predictions of the current IPTV and interactive television landscape.

Kurt Scherf, Vice President and Principal Analyst, Parks Associates

CONNECTIONS™ Europe Agenda

CONNECTIONS™ Europe Sessions - Day 1

Tuesday 4 December
Welcome to CONNECTIONS™ Europe
Trends and Outlook for Digital Lifestyles Markets

We begin CONNECTIONS™ Europe with an overview of key global trends for the digital lifestyles market, with Europe as a special focus.

This session also introduces the Four Pillars of the Digital Home, the theme for CONNECTIONS™ Europe and the foundation for the next two days of highly interactive and informative sessions with lead analysts and their peers.

Stuart Sikes, President, Parks Associates

CONNECTIONS™ Europe Agenda

CONNECTIONS™ Europe Sessions - Day 1

CONNECTIONS™ Europe: Strategies for Digital Living Markets
4-6 December

Tuesday 4 December
Parks Associates Workshop

Four Pillars of Global Digital Lifestyles Growth

Communications and Value-added Services
· Broadband Update: Changing Dynamics in a Maturing Market
· Home Networking: A Focus on Communications and Entertainment

IPTV and Interactive TV
· Television 2.0: IPTV, Mobile TV, and Interactive Television

Digital Media and Entertainment
· Consumers and Digital Media: A Global Perspective
· Broadband Video: A Fourth Alternative for Entertainment?
· Online, Console, and Mobile Gaming Trends

Home Networks and Controls
· Home and Health Management: 2007 and Beyond


coming soon
CONNECTIONS™ Europe Agenda

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

CONNECTIONS™ Europe Keynote Topics

December 4-6, 2007
Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin

Opening Keynote: Embracing IPTV Services and Deployment
Andreas Mueller-Schubert
Microsoft TV

Description: Europe has now taken the lead in IPTV deployments, and the market for television on the European continent is highly dynamic. With cable, satellite, and digital terrestrial joining IPTV as options for digital TV, how do video services differentiate in order to grow and retain their customer bases? This panel examines the trends, technologies, and the “next big thing” that will characterize television in Europe.

Lunch and Keynote: Smart Pipes, Smart Devices, Smart Players
Sponsored by Zensys Inc.
Saul J Berman
IBM Global Business Services
Paul R. Brody
IBM Global Business Services

Description: The challenge for all players in the ecosystem is the degree to which they will capture or lose to others the future growth and economic value opportunities in IPTV. Changing consumer behavior, an evolving regulatory environment, the advancement of technology and innovation of new solutions all combine to create potential business models for IPTV. This presentation, based on IBM’s experience with IPTV technology development and working with the world’s leading CE companies, will address the impact of these different forces and provide suggestions for future development as well as new business modes and strategies.

Keynote: Changing Entertainment Options
Didier Zwierski
PHILIPS Consumer Electronics - BU Home Networks

Description: Entertainment options for consumers have grown tremendously as broadband and digital services mesh with technology advances and convergence. This Keynote addresses how consumer electronics devices such as set-top boxes and televisions are bridging the gaps between the traditional entertainment world and the online services. In addition, Philips will share perspectives on how interactive features and new value-added and revenue-generating services are bringing further enhancement to consumers’ entertainment options, and allowing CE vendors, together with their partners from the digital entertainment ecosystem, to play a role in driving new revenue streams.

CONNECTIONS™ Europe Keynote

Please welcome keynote speaker at CONNECTIONS™ Europe, Didier Zwierski, Vice-President, Americas General Manager & Technology and Development Manager, PHILIPS Consumer Electronics - BU Home Networks.

Biography coming soon.


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Richer Digital Media Offerings Needed to Spur German Home Networking Offerings

Parks Associates’ research indicates companies need to develop and market richer digital media offerings in order to spur the German home networking market. “While home network penetration has grown in Germany, there has not been an upsurge comparable to France or the U.K.,” said John Barrett, director of research, Parks Associates. “More competition combined with digital media offerings such as video-on-demand, IPTV, and multiroom DVR are required to promote greater adoption of home networks.”

Parks Associates’ Global Digital Living (GDL), which surveyed households worldwide on their technology use and attitudes, finds:
  • Among the surveyed countries, Germany has one of the lowest percentages of households who download or upload videos to P2P websites on a monthly basis. Germans are also less likely to watch videos via video sharing sites.
  • Among the European countries surveyed, Germany has the lowest percentage of households who watch purchased DVDs on a monthly basis. Conversely, among all the surveyed countries, Germany has the highest percentage of households who watch movies on broadcast TV.
These and other GDL findings map consumer patterns and areas of opportunity, essential factors for companies looking to advance the markets for digital products and media. To this end, several CONNECTIONS™ Europe sessions will focus on the role of TV-centric devices and examine the evolution of interactive services, the role of Web content, and the features and applications that will move television from a one-to-many to a one-to-one experience.

CONNECTIONS™ Europe provides thorough examination and understanding of advanced technologies and services for residential and mobile environments, including digital entertainment, IPTV, telco TV, set-top boxes, advanced communications across mobile and landline platforms, and home management and its corollary services.

iPhone price cut

Welcome to the mobile phone business, Apple! A mere ten weeks after introducing the iPhone, Apple has made some big adjustments. The company is slashing the price of its 8 GB iPhone from $599 to $399 in time for the holiday shopping season. The company is also phasing out the 4 GB version, which had sold for $499.

Handset price decreases are nothing new to the mobile space, but such drastic price reductions at such an early stage are a rude wake-up to Apple as it enters a market where it faces stiff competition. There's no question that the iconic iPhone is as slick as a device as the mobile phone industry has seen in sometime, and Apple is already transferring features such as the touchscreen to its new iPod devices.

However, after such a hyped introduction, it would appear that Apple hasn't overcome the resistance that we predicted in our June white paper - The iPhone: A Consumer Perspective. Granted, we know that Steve Jobs is definitely not referring to the iPhone as a "hobby" (as he did with the underperforming AppleTV). However, even with Apple's great history of developing intuitive and in-demand products, pricing is a big hurdle to overcome as consumers consider the purchase of an advanced mobile phone handset.

In Parks Associates' white paper we noted that only 3% of consumers surveyed in a recent study (Mobile Entertainment Platforms and Services: Second Edition) expressed a strong willigness to pay $499 or more for an iPhone. We're still not convinced that a $399 price point is going to spur significant dividends, either. At this price point, the needle only bumps to 4% of consumers.

Apple has enjoyed some great gains in the last few years, but it's got major challenges ahead of it if growth is going to continue. Recent defections from content providers away from the iTunes service and the company's need to convince millions of users to replace their existing iPods are among two key issues. Perhaps this is only a moment where Apple simply catches its breath before charging ahead, or it's a sign that even the great Apple has its limits. We're watching closely.

CONNECTIONS EUROPE: Strategies for Digital Living Markets

CONNECTIONS™ Europe will host 220-250 managers, strategists, and executives marketing digital products and services in Europe.

Key Topics Addressed:

  • Key trends for European/Global digital lifestyles markets
  • Interactive sessions with Parks Associates' analysts
  • Controls and health management
  • The hyper-competitive European telecom environment
  • The evolution of IPTV services
  • The “next big thing” in European TV
  • Service providers: competing on service and innovation
  • Value-added services and features
  • Fixed/mobile, home network, and multimedia features
  • Digital entertainment: downloads, social media, Web 2.0
  • Connectivity beyond application-specific platforms
  • Communications and entertainment

CONNECTIONS™ SUMMIT at CES Focuses on Strategies for Converging Media, Entertainment, and Controls

CONNECTIONS™ Summit, a one-day executive summit, precedes 2008 International CES and features expert insight and debate on market strategies for home systems, new media and social networking, home networking, and digital entertainment.

Preliminary Speakers:
Ralph Ackerman, Founder and Director, International Short Film Association
Ade Bamigboye, CTO, Intamac Systems Ltd
Marc Canter, CEO, Broadband Mechanics
Brian Caskey, VP, Worldwide Marketing, UTStarcom
Jonathan Cobb, Founder, CTO, Kiptronic, Inc.
Joe Dada, CEO, SmartLabs, Inc.
Paul Palmieri, President & CEO, Millennial Media, Inc.
Kate Purmal, GM and SVP, Digital Content Solutions Division, SanDisk
John Reister, Chief Architect, IPTV, BigBand Networks, Inc.
William T. Schafer, Director, Product & Channel Development, Crestron Electronics
Dan Scheinman, SVP and GM, Cisco Media Solutions Group, Cisco Systems Inc.
Singu Srinivas, President, HiWired, Inc.
Chris Wagner, EVP, Marketplace Strategy, NeuLion, Inc.
Ben Weinberger, CEO, Digitalsmiths Corporation
Michael Wexler, President, HiWired, Inc.
TBD, Superna

CONNECTIONS™ designed the summit as the ideal preparatory event for 2008 International CES. The summit sessions feature panels of leading executives, moderated by Parks Associates analysts. In addition, Parks Associates will provide consumer and industry data on various product and service categories of 2007, with forecasts for growth in 2008 and beyond.

“The convergence of controls, broadband, and digital content will promote growth in many advanced industries serving consumers,” said Kurt Scherf, principal analyst, Parks Associates. “We will be discussing these and other opportunities at the CONNECTIONS™ Summit.”

For more information, visit or