A new study by Forrester Research concludes that one in three home networks are now used to stream music, movies, TV shows and other media throughout the home.
Forrester surveyed nearly 4,000 US consumers with broadband connections in early 2007 and discovered that 27 percent of the respondents have a home network of some sort. WiFi is the networking technology of choice for a majority of the respondents, with 44 percent relying exclusively on WiFi and another 27 percent using a mix of wired and wireless technologies.
WiFi is less popular with those using their networks for entertainment, as only 30 percent of that group rely on WiFi, compared to 51 percent who use their networks only for data. Instead, entertainment networks predominantly use an Ethernet/WiFi combo. Ethernet is the third most popular network infrastructure, used by 18 percent of the respondents, with other topologies like HomePlug AV and HPNA in use by less than 4 percent of those surveyed.
On average, those using their networks for digital media have had their networks for a longer period compared to the data-only crowd: 2.3 years vs. 1.7 years. Entertainment home networkers also skewed younger than the other group, with the largest number of them falling into the 18-to-29 age category. By comparison, the largest number of basic networkers were between 30 and 39 years old.