Fri, Jun 23, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Taiwanese No. 1 globally in use of digital home gear

AFP , SINGAPORE

East Asian nations lead the world in embracing digital home products, led by the high-tech powerhouses Taiwan and South Korea, a US firm said yesterday.

Taiwan scored 8.7 points out of a possible 10 when it came to using digital living products -- home networks, digital entertainment, consumer electronics, broadband and Internet services, Parks Associates said.

South Korea was second with a score of 8.4, followed by the US at 8.1. Canada came next with an 8.0 score, according to results of the firm's 14-nation survey.

Japan placed fifth with 7.9 score followed by Australia at 7.0, Parks Associates said during a conference at CommunicAsia2006, the largest telecommunications trade fair in Asia.

European countries occupied the next six spots and India ranked last with a score of 1.3, below China's 2.9.

"Within Asia, you see a different trend from what's going on in Europe and North America," said John Barrett, director of research at Parks Associates.

"In Asia the consumers are driving the digital home deployment and not the service providers," he said.

"Asian consumers are much more open to using computers as an entertainment platform and that opens up another hub for distribution of content," he said.

Barrett and other analysts who spoke at the conference said Asia provides possibly the largest growth potential for digital home products, but the task lies in convincing households the services are worth paying for.

The survey showed Asian consumers are generally paying about US$7 a month for video-on-demand services compared with US$11 in Europe.

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