NPD In-Stat forecasts that the installed base of connected devices will grow from 256.8 million units in 2011 to 1.34 billion units in 2016. This should serve as a wake-up call for any entertainment-related companies that still depend on tradition distribution methods, the research firm said.

“This simple fact is having a profound impact on the development of the digital media and entertainment industry, which clings to the old practices of using networks to control the user viewing experience,” said Norm Bogen, vice president of Research, NPD In-Stat.

Those unit numbers represent a compound annual growth rate of 52.6 percent over that time period for devices that have the ability to connect directly to the Internet or to a home network and can deliver IP-based video content, according to the research firm.

Digital TVs, satellite set-top boxes, video game consoles, and Blu-ray disc players and recorders are the primary drivers of this trend, as was evident on the show floor at 2012 International CES. But the new report, The Global Market for Connected and Smart CE Devices, gives credit to game consoles as leading the market, accounting for 36.7 million units in 2016.

“CE is no longer about ‘dumb’ devices that exist at the edge of the network to provide specific functions, but rather about ‘intelligent’ devices at the edge of the network that can connect consumers to new stores of content and engage them in new digital experiences,” Bogen said.

The research report also found that Asia Pacific will account for 37.1 percent of connected media devices shipped worldwide over the forecast period.

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