Report: Home brands gaining recognition

Report: Home brands gaining recognition

General recognition of home automation, networking and digital entertainment is on the rise according to latest results from market research company, Connection Research Services (CRS).

For the second consecutive year, CRS has published its Connected Home Report based on a comprehensive survey of more than 4000 Australian homes.

The survey uncovered a dramatic increase in the awareness of home automation coupled with a growing recognition of brands and vendors. But there was an almost wholesale disinterest in the concept of digital home convergence.

"At least 10 per cent said they actually knew what home automation was and could name a vendor, while last year that figure was more like 1 per cent," CRS director, Graeme Philipson, said.

"But the research uncovered an incredible lack of understanding of what convergence is. People are still very much looking at digital home entertainment as a series of discrete devices."

Nonetheless, ownership of digital home entertainment devices continued to climb. According to the survey results digital camera ownership went from 55 per cent to 83 per cent in the past 12 months, while LCD or plasma TVs now grace 16.3 per cent of homes, up from 12.5 per cent.

"DVD players have also reached saturation point, and can be found in 95 per cent of homes, while DVD recorders, which didn't even rate a mention last year, are now in 27.7 per cent of homes," Philipson said.

Personal video recorders didn't fare so well, with the bulk of respondents confusing the terminology with camcorders or video recorders.

The survey's findings are in keeping with anecdotal reports from resellers indicating strong sales in specific areas, and little interest in the connected model.

Audio-visual retailer and president of the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association (CEDIA), Garrett Mills, said people were interested in digital home entertainment technology, but remained conservative when it came to convergence.

"A lot of vendors will tell you it's happening, but it's just not happening as fast as they would like," Mills said. "There are pockets of convergence, but it's a long way from spreading."

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