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Posted by Sonal Gandhi on February 18, 2010
…or something connected to it.
The addition of Internet radio feature (Pandora/Slacker/Last.fm) to Internet connected televisions and set-top boxes (Blu-ray players, Tivo, Roku, Xbox etc) raise this existential question - do we need a stand-alone device for audio in the home?
I know what you’re thinking. Adding a radio channel to a primarily video device does not mean the end of the audio only product category. But it could very well be the beginning of the decline. And here are some of the reasons why.
The devices most at risk right now are the streaming audio players such as Logitech’s Squeezebox and Philips’ Streamium. But those iPod docking stations won’t be safe either in a few years. Will the home audio market then just shrink to home theater systems, and multi room high-end audio systems (such as Sonos) for the audiophiles? Should the network music players then convert themselves to more than just music boxes a la Chumby or Sony Dash with a screen and apps/widgets?
I am in the midst of developing this idea into a report and welcome any comments on the topic.