This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The Next Home Invasion

The promise of the digital living room has been around in one form or another for nearly 30 years.

Consumers have been told they'll be able to choose from an infinite library of movies and music, watch sports games from the camera angle of their choosing, order any product they want, or video-conference with Grandma, all from the comfort of their couch.

So far, the reality has fallen far short of the promise. Even if it hadn't, it isn't clear that most consumers would have paid for the nifty vision.

Despite past failures, at least some analysts think the digital living room will soon become commonplace in the U.S. With the popularity of everything from digital cameras to MP3 players, Americans are becoming increasingly comfortable with digital media. And the tools and devices needed to link that digital content to consumers' existing entertainment systems are already available, if not necessarily easy to use or easily explainable to consumers.

"All the trends point this way," says Jonathan Gaw, an analyst with market research firm IDC. "It doesn't make sense to me that we'd come this far and all of sudden we'd just stop."

A whole host of companies are betting Gaw's right. Intel (INTC - Get Report), Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report), Sony (SNE - Get Report), Yahoo! (YHOO - Get Report), Apple (AAPL - Get Report) and Time Warner (TWX - Get Report) are just some of the industry heavyweights hoping to benefit if and when consumers decide to digitally redecorate their living rooms.

But they first have to prove that there's a market for it. The cable industry has been trying to bring interactive television to consumers' homes since the 1970s, but nearly all efforts have been financial failures.

To be sure, it's not as if the digital revolution has completely passed the living room by. Microprocessors have been incorporated into amplifiers and other entertainment equipment for years. Digitally encoded CDs displaced LPs nearly 20 years ago and DVDs have done the same to video tapes in the last five years. According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), 10% of American households now have digital video recorders, which store video on PC-derived hard drives.

But little of this technology has offered any kind of interactivity for consumers, and most has been completely disconnected from personal computers or the Internet.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,672.60 -141.38 -0.79%
S&P 500 2,051.82 -11.33 -0.55%
NASDAQ 4,757.8790 +7.4820 0.16%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs