It's no surprise that more and more people are streaming TV shows and movies over the Internet rather than relying on the old standard, cable. But, according to a recent Nielsen study, set-top box manufacturers have something to worry about as gaming consoles are slowly but surely becoming the premier entertainment hubs in living rooms.
Set-top boxes from Boxee, Roku and a few other companies offer more niche channels (especially for sports) and have products that can cost up to hundreds of dollars less than a gaming console.
But console manufacturers are catching on - particularly with the addition of Netflix streaming on the Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360. It also helps that both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 support DVD playback, with the PS3 also ready for Blu-ray discs.
As Nielsen's study found, gaming is still the number one use for these three apparatuses. But here's a closer look at the findings. DVD/Blu-ray playback surpasses Internet streaming usage time and comes in at second place for most popular feature. Wii owners, however, use video-on-demand services 20% of the time, while it occupies 10% of Xbox 360 owners’ time and 9% of PlayStation 3 owners’ time.
While this is a good start, if gaming manufacturers are serious about making their consoles into true entertainment hubs, there needs to be much further development in video-on-demand services. More channels, more variety, and more current programming. Hulu Plus on the PlayStation 3 is only the start.
But set-top boxes are obviously still a good option for those who want something cheaper and efficient with a lot of content to offer. And maybe for those who don't like gaming at all.
[Image via MediaPost]
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