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The "Digital Home" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Harris Interactive   
14 Feb 2007

The "Digital Home": Home Networks Capture the Imagination of Consumers
More U.S. Adults would like to use their PC as a "media center"

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – February 15, 2007 – Not long ago, many people believed setting up an entertainment center was simply a stereo system, a VCR and a television larger than 25". These days, the promise from the consumer electronic industry to establish the computer as the new "media center" is beginning to gain traction with consumers.

With this in mind, Harris Interactive conducted an online research study of adult consumers across America that focused on the emerging "Digital Home" and other hot consumer technologies, and the results indicate that more than one-third (39%) of U.S. adults have home networks. Thirty-seven percent of those with home networks would like to use their personal computer (PC) as a media center to control their entertainment system, while thirty-one percent would use it to download pictures, video and music to their televisions. Even controlling household systems such as lighting, security, heating, ventilation and air conditioning are being folded in to today’s media centers (35%). The challenge for marketers to grow these potential markets is to provide clear instruction on setup, network security, and ensure interoperability amongst different brands and components. We are way past woofers and tweeters now, Virginia.

These are just some of the results of the study, which were presented through the company’s latest webinar*. Harris Interactive fields ongoing studies on a range of topical issues within the technology industry and presents the information via our complimentary webinars. The interviews are conducted online with consumers from our multimillion member panel and/or business decision makers using our IT/Telecom Decision Maker Specialty Panel.

The Need for Speed drives PC Sales

Generally speaking, setting up a home network of this magnitude requires a PC that is faster and is more advanced than the previous generation of computers. Despite tepid sales in 2006, about 21 percent of respondents say they are planning to buy a new PC within the next 12 months. One possible factor driving this demand is the insatiable need for speed and the ability to run multiple high power applications that can be found in multi-core processors. About 44 percent of those planning to buy a PC this year will buy a dual core processor and a full 14 percent will purchase quad core "engines" under the "hood". A full one-third of the buyers are still pondering how many cores is enough while a scant 9 percent are planning to purchase a single core solution.

"At the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, we saw firsthand the computer power that dual and quad core solutions are offering to consumers. The number of processing cores can only increase when we consider the current market dynamics. Processor manufacturers are extending Moore’s law, while consumers believe that more is always better and want to use the computer as an entertainment device that provides cinematic realism," said Milt Ellis, Vice President of the Technology Practice at Harris Interactive.

Improving Life with Technology

It’s not your fathers PC any longer – today’s machines are also providing entertainment and helping people manage all aspects of their lives. In the end, adults understand that technology has had a tremendous impact on the world around them. More than one-third (35%) of U.S adults have a positive attitude toward technology and 33 percent indicate that it has improved their lives. While the vast majority continues to use computers for email (94%) , web surfing (84%) and shopping (77%), there are new applications joining the leaderboard, including banking (64%), making travel arrangements (70%) and listening to music (57%).

About Harris Interactive Technology Research

The Harris Interactive Technology Research group doesn’t just monitor and measure the industry. It interacts with the thought leaders who drive technology, telecom and e-business everyday and provides insights from a variety of vertical perspectives. Using the group’s unique knowledge, experience, and expertise in both the telecommunications and information technology sectors, Harris Interactive asks the right questions, confirms business issues, and designs and implements studies to provide clients with actionable results.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is the 12th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world. The company provides innovative research, insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market research methods. The company has built what it believes to be the world’s largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in France and through a global network of independent market research firms. The service bureau, HISB, provides its market research industry clients with mixed-mode data collection, panel development services as well as syndicated and tracking research consultation. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at

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