Consumer electronics retail stores are one of the things I use to gauge the enormity of the connected media device universe. If Best Buy isn’t selling it, it is definitely in the early adopter phase. On the other hand, sites like or even have a healthy dose of current information on what is available and whose gear might be “the best” for a broad range of customer types. Connected media devices exist in the form of HD Televisions, Blu Ray players, dedicated set top boxes, game consoles, and even some portable storage media devices. Some are cheap (all the way around) and some are a nice balance of what can be expected from a CE manufacturer trying to compete in a space where there are very few standards and seemingly little demand. The current killer app is Netflix. It should be, are you not supposed to watch video on TV? Others are trying to leverage their brands to attract VOD subscription and PPV customers, and it is only a matter of time before someone is competitive in this space.

CE manufacturers are somewhere in between begging the high profile companies who have created apps for the various platforms to create an app for their devices to attempting to charge $1M for top billing for a good slot in the startup app menu. They can’t sell devices without good content, but good content cannot emerge without devices being sold. Could you imagine if the internet would have started based on such dynamics?

The good news is that there is a LOT of activity in this space. There has been a steady rise in this space since 2006. This time it is real, well almost. Execs are still packing Flash based demos on laptops to show off the concepts of the app stores and the apps these stores “sell” or give away, but there is more of an awareness that they are not alone. Tech and UX efforts have a renewed hope that all the hard work they do will someday soon make it into a family room of a friends house where they can say “I did that”.Some people can.

CE companies selling connected devices: Samsung, Sony, Vizio, Insignia, LG.

Integrators selling hardware for CE companies to base their devices on: Broadcom, NXP, Sigma Designs, Intel, MediaTek, STMicroelectronics

Processor families the integrators are using: ARM, MIPS, Intel

Apps that are on at least one device: Netflix, Blockbuster, Amazon, Revision3, MLB, (will get more)

Where does this leave you as an advertiser, a content provider, a developer, a CE manufacturer?

Contact Us to arrange a strategy session for how you can get more deeply involved.