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In 2014, we expect to see four key trends driving the future of home entertainment:
1.) The Uber Gateway: All the media processing and distribution technology that previously required a dedicated set top for each screen now goes into one powerful device. The gateway has evolved into the hub of the new connected home ecosystem, offering unmatched versatility compared to one-trick OTT boxes.
You'll see more of these shipping next year as service providers respond to consumers' demand for more connected entertainment experiences across all their devices. Down the road, these gateways will become platforms for providing app-based TV experiences, leveraging sensor technologies and connected systems to enable telemedicine, remote education, and more.
2.) HEVC: Before you sit down to watch the FIFA World Cup Final in 4K next year, HEVC will have transformed the way that service providers deliver entertainment to consumers. HEVC is much more than just a way to deliver Ultra HDTV—it's is a powerful compression technology with twice the efficiency of H.264 and huge implications for service providers, not the least of which include enabling telcos to extend their reach over DSL, distributing wireless HD video throughout the home, expanding the footprint of TV anywhere, and more…
3.) The Wireless Home: New technologies are changing the connected landscape in the home, giving consumers unprecedented flexibility and choice in deciding where to enjoy their favorite content. MoCA 2.0 uses existing cable wiring to enable immersive TV experiences in the furthest reaches of the home. Meanwhile 802.11AC is changing the game for Wi-Fi, offering blazingly fast streaming of up to 1.3Gbps for the latest entertainment on mobile devices. These technologies are laying the groundwork for the new multiscreen, high-bandwidth, and personalized experiences coming online all over the home next year and beyond.
4.) New Form Factors: As the uber gateway and new IP set-tops take hold in the home and centralize key media management and processing activities—they will empower service providers to host a variety of devices on the network, in varying shapes and sizes. By opening up the traditional set-top architecture to this new connected ecosystem, service providers are not only changing the face of entertainment—through service integration at the device level--but the very mold of the devices themselves.
Check out a video below of Kevin Keefe, SVP & GM, Digital Video @ ARRIS speaking about these future video trends. Do you see any other trends driving the future of home entertainment? Tell us in the comments below.