According to a recent report by The Diffusion Group, eight out of 10 broadband-enabled households across the nation have home networks in place.
Given the increased availability of home network-based video services across a variety of devices, it’s no surprise that home networks are increasing in their popularity, but The Diffusion Group noted that the network routers were now located primarily in living rooms instead of home offices.
Last year, there was a 26 percent increase in the number of broadband-networked households that placed the routers in the family/living room (30 percent in 2001 vs. 38 percent in 2011). Conversely, and during the same time period, the number of those placing the routers in a home office declined 30 percent, which was down from 26 percent in 2010 to 18 percent in 2011.
"The migration of home network hardware from the home office to the primary living space offers both functional and figurative insight," said Michael Greeson, TDG founding partner and director of research. "TDG noted in 2005 that, driven by the incessant desire to optimize their entertainment experiences, consumers would progressively place their network access point adjacent to key Net-enabled video entertainment platforms such as game consoles, disc players and DVRs.
“In 2012, this is precisely what we observe and most would acknowledge. The meaning of this shift, however, remains lost on the majority of observers."
TDG’s research found that the near-linear relationship strongly supported its position that in-home networks are increasingly seen as a means to connect key living room entertainment platforms to the Internet, as opposed to "networking" stationary computers and peripherals. As a result, router placement has evolved in step with evolving consumer needs.
With over-the-top streaming services, such as Netflix, becoming more popular, TDG has posited that optimal router placement would eventually swing from the home office to the living room.
"Such were our predictions, and such is the reality of in-home networking in this multi-source, multi-conduit universe,” Greeson said.