InfoTrends Predicts More Consumers Will Use TVs To View, Share Photos

A new report from InfoTrends Research Group Inc., Boston, Mass., USA, projects the TV may become the center of consumer photography applications in some homes over the next five years.

"The TV will not replace the PC as the primary imaging platform in the near term," said Kristy Holch, principal at InfoTrends. "But consumers will gradually discover that it is a friendly, easy-to-use alternative for viewing and sharing photos. For consumers without access to PCs, or who aren't comfortable with technology, intelligent set-top devices will be their on-ramp to digital photography."

A new generation of photo-enabled set-top devices is enabling this trend. Newer DVD models support reading photos from a CD. Also, set-top devices such as personal video recorders (PVRs), game consoles, and home media centers will increasingly allow for storing and displaying photos. The gradual growth of home networks, set-top Internet connectivity, and high definition TV will also foster TV-based photography. The consumer appeal of photos will help drive adoption of these technologies, according to the InfoTrends report, titled "TV-Based Digital Imaging: A Driver in the Next Wave of Intelligent Consumer Electronics."

By 2006, InfoTrends projects 85 percent of U.S. households will have a photo-enabled set-top box, up from less than 1 percent in 2001. These will drive multiple new revenue streams, including digital camera and set-top hardware, online and retail services, and print consumables, the report predicted. InfoTrends also found 59 percent of U.S. households who have visited an online photo site would be interested in receiving and viewing photo CDs on TV, using a DVD player.