Home Network Users Want Digital Media?

A new survey from market research firm Harris Interactive finds that nearly one in four U.S. adults (39 percent) have home networks, and 37 percent of those users would like to use their computers to control their home entertainment systems. In addition, 35 percent would like to control household functions like heating, lighting, security, and ventilation from their PCs, and 31 percent of home network owners would like to use teir PCs to send pictures, video, and music to their televisions.

Of course, another way of looking at these figures is that nearly two thirds of U.S. adults with home networks have no interest in using their PCs as media centers, and even fewer are interested in home automation or sending media to their televisions.

According to Harris, about one in five (21 percent) of its survey respondents plan to buy a new computer in the next 12 months; of those, 44 percent said they were planning to buy a PC wth a dual core processor, and 14 percent were aiming at quad core systems. Some 14 percent weren’t sure how many cores would be sufficient, while only 9 percent explicitly planned to buy single-core systems.

Harris speculates that the tendency towards purchasing multi-core systems is driven by consumer’s digital media aspirations, rather than by other factors such as manufacturer’s offerings and requirements for, say, Windows Vista. "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," said Milt Ellis, Vice President of the Technology Practice at Harris Interactive, in a statement. "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." Harris said it found that some 35 percent of U.S. adults have a positive attitude toward technology and 33 percent indicated they felt it improved their lives. (Again, consider the flipside: 65 percent don’t have a positive attitude toward technology, and fully two thirds didn’t think it improved their lives.)

Among computer users, Harris found that vast majority use computers for email (94 percent), Web surfing (84 percent) and shopping (77 percent), other applications were rapidly gaining acceptance, including online banking (64 percent), travel arrangements (70 percent), and listening to music (57 percent).

Harris Interactive conducted its survey online between November 30 and December 11, 2006, polling 1,028 U.S. adults; Harris weighted the data using unspecified methodology to reflect the total U.S. adult online population on factors of region, age within gender, education, income, ethnicity, and other factors.

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