It’s no coincidence that this peace pact was signed at a time when broadband adoption is skyrocketing. In theU.S.alone, 13% of the population has high-speed Internet connections. The trick now is sharing those connections among PCs so people can shuttle both entertainment and work from room to room. That’s fairly easy once the network is in place, but setting it up can be brutal. “Consumers can do some of these things today, but it’s very, very painful,” says Intel Corp. Vice-President Louis J. Burns.
For many consumers, the digital home begins in the home office. That’s often where the most powerful PC resides, and it’s still the primary location for downloading digital photos and music. But the entertainment factor is quickly luring network-savvy families into the living room, where the main attraction is digital TV. These large-screen gizmos look and act like normal sets. But they can display all manner of digital content — and they may soon start to function like large videoconferencing screens. The Consumer Electronics Assn. expects 4 million digital TVs to be sold in the U.S. this year and 10.5 million in 2006.
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