Service providers, according to an IHS study, are finding that so-called 'no-new-wires' methods to distribute video and data throughout the home network offer the best price and capacity.
Led by technologies such as HomePlug and MoCA, the research firm forecasts that the number of households deploying no-new-wire technologies will rise to 250 million in 2017 from under 70 million last year.
What's attractive about these technologies is that they leverage existing wiring, including powerline, coax cable, and copper wiring, on the premises. While HomePlug and MoCA have a strong lead, they will be complemented by G.hn, an emerging approach that is set on unifying all wiring types.
Liam Quirke, senior analyst for connectivity at IHS, said that the use of no-new-wire technologies is being driven "by the need to share an Internet connection with devices that may not include wireless connectivity, the need to extend an existing home network and eliminate areas of poor coverage, as well as the need for increased bandwidth."
MoCA, in particular, has seen a strong uptick from cable and satellite operators Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) that are driving more multiroom DVR sales. A separate report from Infonetics Research said that MoCA set-top box sales grew 23 percent in the second half of 2012.
While MoCA and HomePlug are gaining favor, they are not going to completely thwart Wi-Fi use in the home. "Wi-Fi provides the mobility desired by consumers when connecting devices such as laptops, tablets or smartphones to their home network," Quirke said.
Service providers aren't tied to one no-new-wires technology, but instead will use a toolkit of technologies. AT&T (NYSE: T) leverages a mix of HomePNA and Wi-Fi-enabled set top boxes from Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) to distribute services in the home, while Bell Canada (NYSE: BCE) just introduced a new wireless receiver it says will enable its Fibe TV customers to extend service to up to five TVs without any new wiring.
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