The housing market in the United States might be in a slump, but the downturn has yet to reach the booming home technology market. In fact, a new survey suggests 2007 could be a second consecutive year of double-digit growth for companies specializing in home technology installation, integration and repair services.
Business is further boosted by the proliferation of new options for the consumer, from flat-panel televisions and multiroom audio to integrated gaming applications and home networks. For example, research firm In-Stat predicts more than 60 million U.S. households will have at least one wide-screen, high-definition TV in their home by the end of 2007. The market for home networking and connected entertainment devices is projected to grow to $85 billion by 2011, according to ABI Research.
The launch of Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system promised to take IP-based home control systems to a new level with more functionality, better stability and a lower cost compared with proprietary control systems. All these factors are combining to make the “smart home” or the “connected home” a concept that is no longer limited to the rich and famous. We’re seeing mass market acceptance and demand for advanced technologies in the home.
But the explosion of digital entertainment options and home network tools brings with it a new level of complexity when it comes to the installation, use and maintenance of these high-tech toys. Although many of these products are easy to install and use, bringing together disparate components and…
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