New PlayStation, Xbox may add DVR technology

New PlayStation, Xbox may add DVR technology

Sony Electronics' PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox game consoles may include digital video recording (DVR) technology in future versions, panelists said during a discussion at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Despite lagging sales, DVR would be a hot consumer technology in the future, said speakers on a panel devoted to investigating future consumer electronics products and technology trends.

DVRs make it possible to record and watch a program by skipping (or "zapping") advertisements.

TiVo, ReplayTV and Echostar Satellite currently dominate the DVR market.

In addition to Microsoft and Sony bundling DVR technology into future game consoles, cable companies would be a major player in the DVR market as they added digital video recording capability into set-top boxes, panellists said.

A DVR technology growth deterrent, however, could be poor consumer education about DVR gadgets, a panellist and senior vice-president at Pioneer, Andy Parsons said.

"Consumers don't understand how to use DVRs," he said.

The DVRs prices would also need to come down for the technology to sell, according to panellist and senior marketing manager at Samsung Electronics, Chris Cudina, said.

Opposition to DVR technology could also come from the TV and film industries, which wouldn't take kindly to viewers skipping advertisements, the panellists said.

Home networking technology also might drive DVR sales, said panelist Patrick Lo, chief executive officer of Netgear, a network hardware manufacturing company.

Home networking for entertainment was touted as another hot consumer technology in the future, as many entertainment products will come with Wi-Fi wireless networking slots, allowing them to plug into a home network.

If a recorded program is stored on a TiVo connected to a wireless network, a user will be able to watch the program on any TV in a house. Remote scheduling wouldallow remote users to send record commands to a DVR on the network or through the Internet, the panellists said.

But Wi-Fi was still too complicated for the average user, so companies manufacturing Wi-Fi gear would need to focus on ease of use, in addition to improving the quality of service and simplification of functionality, Lo said.

Future Wi-Fi gear will be able to send broadcast-quality signals along a network. Wireless video will also get a boost from Air5 gear, developed by Magis Networks Air5 video chipsets will wirelessly transmit multiple streams of cable and digital video and audio at bit rates of up to 54M bps (bits per second) on the 5GHz frequency to a maximum distance of 227.5 meters, while maintaining the original video quality.

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