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Games grow home networks

Web-connected consoles impact vid consumption

As the use of Internet-ready devices grows, the ways people consume video is changing.

According to a new study by ABI Research, about 27 million U.S. households have an Internet-ready video device connected to their home networks — the wi-fi and wired systems through which they access the Internet.

That represents approximately 21% of American households.

The most popular such device is the game console, with more than 80% of connected homes using one. While many people who own and deploy these consoles are using them to compete in multiplayer games, the study shows that 31% also download video programming.

More than 27% of these connected homes use Internet-ready TVs, and almost 24% employ stand-alone Blu-ray players. Smart set-top boxes are the least-used devices, at 13%.

As consumer electronics-makers include wireless connectivity with more of their products, the number of Americans owning Internet-ready video devices should continue to grow. Even so, there appears to be some reluctance on the part of consumers to actually connect these products to the Internet. According to ABI, nearly half of total households have a current-generation game console, but not all of them are connected to home networks.

Among all households, connected or not, Internet-ready TVs are in about 16% of homes, as are stand-alone Blu-ray devices. Smart set-top boxes are owned in fewer than 5% of such homes.

It seems that Luddites exist even among tech-buyers.

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