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Challenges ahead for personal media players

Posted: 30 Dec 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:personal media player  TV  PMP market  multi-function 

With online digital video content rapidly expanding to different viewing channels ranging from mobile handsets to the PC monitor and right onto the living room TV, how does a dedicated traditional personal media player (PMP) compete in a digital video future populated with more and more multi-function devices?

There are several challenges the dedicated PMP will face in the near future. Such challenges may threaten PMP's legitimacy as a stand-alone product, but it remains to be seen whether any of the threats will actually manifest into full fledge foes.

The first and arguably most threatening challenge is the convergence trend. With convergence looming around every corner and spanning the entire consumer clectronics (CE) product space, initially it seems only natural that the dedicated PMP functions would eventually reside in a device like a mobile phone/PMP device or a portable video game system that plays back digital audio and video.

PMP shipments

However, even with the obvious benefits of a converged product that would theoretically save space and time, Digital Tech Consulting (DTC) believes that it is an overrated idea in the PMP market.

Perhaps less talked about, but more threatening to the traditional stand-alone PMP market is the proliferation of online video content to the TV. With options like the Netflix/Roku Internet set-top box or AppleTV becoming available, online video content is no longer confined solely to the tiny screen of a PMP, or the desk space where the family PC resides.

Consumers now have a legitimate option of watching true Internet video content on the living room HDTV.

PMP evolution

So what does this imply for the PMP market?

DTC believes that like so many other potential challenges to existing technology, this threat will only foster more advancement in the PMP market.

Future improvements in storage capacity are important for data-intensive video, especially as the small devices evolve into portable movie library vaults.

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