You're now more likely to find a broadband router or gateway in the living or family room than in the home office.
This is according to The Diffusion Group, a research firm, which said that this reversal of a long-standing digital home precedent is encouraging for the connected consumer electronics and broadband media industries.
The home network is focusing more on pumping Web-based digital media into the home, and less on data-centric activity centered on PCs and printers, the firm found.
"While many will not understand the impact of this shift, others will see it as a tipping point of sorts, a time at which possibilities of 'Net-connected in-home media began in earnest to move from dream to reality," noted Michael Greeson, founding partner at TDG and author of the new report – "The In-Home CE Ecosystem of U.S. Broadband Households: 2010."
In 2006, only 18 percent of gateways and routers were located in the living or family room, while 39 percent were located in a home office. Home networking was about sharing a single Internet connection and files – even a printer or scanner – among multiple PCs, Greeson said.
Today, close to one-third of all home network gateways are located in the living or family room (up 64 percent since 2006), while gateways placed in the home office declined from 40 percent to 26 percent (a drop of 35 percent).
Media networking is a regular activity among four in 10 home network users, according to TDG, and the closer the router is to the primary home entertainment center (and the TV, in particular), the easier it is to connect CE and access 'Net-based media such as Netflix and Hulu.