There are 233 million analog TVs in 94 million homes, and these analog TVs will be in use for a decade (Source: FCC Chairman Reed Hundt). Digital standards are being developed for set-tops, which will act as a bridge until the digital compression functionality can be integrated into the television itself. The RG can act as a bridge for the transition period from analog TV to digital.
Hughes/RCA DirecTV has shipped 1.2M units in 12 months, and Primestar Partners (TCI and cable-backed consortium) have signed 770,000 subscribers in nine months (Source: DBS Digest). Forrester Research forecasts DBS subscribers to reach 10 to 12 million by the year 2000.
US households are acquiring PCs in record numbers and will continue to do so in the short-term, spending more on PCs than on TVs and VCRs combined. Today, 30% of homes have a PC and 50% of households are expected to own a PC in two years (Source: Wall Street Journal).
The following sections of this report define the types of services that a Residential Gateway could provide or facilitate, identifies the known and expected interfaces, and provides the design principles that the RG group feels are required to make the RG concept a reality.