Streaming Gets Real Across Devices

Real-Time Entertainment, a category that includes video and music streaming, continues to be the dominant force across all in-home connected devices, according to a new study from bandwidth management specialist Sandvine.

While 45.44% of traffic on Windows PCs originates from real-time entertainment services and apps, that portion of traffic jumps sharply among other devices such as smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and specialized streaming devices. Of that device group, almost all traffic on Roku devices comes from realtime entertainment.

Sandvine’s study — Global Internet Phenomena Spotlight: Inside the Connected Home — also found that the post-PC era is well underway as consumers gravitate more time and attention to other types of devices.

Though Windows-based personal computers are still the biggest traffic generator on in-home networks connected to wired broadband services, other types of devices are hot on their tail.

Sandvine, which based its latest study on data collected in July from almost 500,000 North American homes, noted that mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) accounted for 9% of downstream traffic via fixed access networks in 2012, a number that has since risen to 29.3%.

Notably, Sandvine found that, on one network, the top consuming Netflix device (at over 12%) was not a game console or Web browser, but the operator’s branded set-top that supports OTT apps.

Sandvine didn’t identify the operator or the device, but several U.S. MVPDs, including WideOpen-West, Altice USA’s Suddenlink Communications, Mediacom Communications, GCI, Midco, Atlantic Broadband, Grande Communications and RCN, support Netflix on leased set-top boxes. Comcast is preparing to integrate Netflix into its X1 platform later this year.

As a more general finding, Sandvine also found that there are 7.1 devices connected to the Internet for every home with an active fixed access connection.