HOW many pieces of electronic gadgetry are in your home? More than a dozen, according to Connection Research’s latest survey on the subject, Towards the Digital Home.
The average connected home contains 2.4 mobile phones, 1.8 CRT TVs and 1.5 DVD players. Measured another way, 97 percent of homes have at least one mobile phone, 89 percent a DVD player, but only 82 percent a CRT TV. But those that do have CRT TVs tend to have more than one many older TVs are retired to children’s bedrooms and elsewhere in the house.
The big movers over the last few years have been LCD, plasma and projector TVs, The proportion of Australian homes with such a TV has approximately doubled in the last two years, from 16 percent to 31 percent. The current figure is very close to the total proportion of households with a home cinema (29 percent) these groups largely overlap.
The number of households with a home cinema or theatre, either in a dedicated room or not, has grown to 29 percent from just 18 percent a year ago. Home cinema usage is growing at a faster rate than non-CRT TV usage an indicator that more households are opting for higher end configurations.
Home cinema usage increases with household income, as might be expected. But even significant numbers of low-income households use the technology, with lower-end systems, no doubt. The data is a reminder that most households in Australia still use a CRT TV with no external connection or amplification.
There is still plenty of room for growth.
Overall, the research paints a picture of a market happy to adopt new technology. The growth in usage rates of all manner of devices is growing strongly year on year. But convergence is slow in coming a separate question on important attributes in a home entertainment system put integration factors (with home automation, with PC networks, and with other audiovisual equipment) as the least important attributes.
Indeed, that has been a key theme of the Connected Home research since its inception. Convergence and interconnectivity is proving to be a long time coming. We will get there eventually, but the road is longer and more difficult than most people realise.
The research took place in December 2007, of over 7000 households. The survey was conducted by e-mail, which meant it excludes the 15 percent of Australian households not connected to the Internet. These tend to be households of the economically disadvantages, or of retirees,or of others who have little inter-est in digital technology.
Graeme Philipson is Research Director of Connection Research.
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