NEW-HOME BUYERS ARE FOCUSED ON ENTERTAINMENT and communications—and they want the latest flat-panel monitors and audio systems to blend seamlessly into their homes, according to the “CEA/NAHB 2005 Home Builder Study,” the third annual study on home technology jointly sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the NAHB.

The following are some of the study's more important findings:

  • Popularity of flat-panel displays. Shipments of flat-panel displays and projection screens will remain the same as last year at about 3.6 million, but shipments of flat-panel displays are forecast to nearly double next year while growth of projection screens will remain flat.
  • LISTEN UP: Shipments of in-wall/ceiling speakers tripled in the past year, demonstrating the interest in integrated home entertainment options.
    LISTEN UP: Shipments of in-wall/ceiling speakers tripled in the past year, demonstrating the interest in integrated home entertainment options.
  • Growth of in-wall/ceiling speakers. Shipments of in-wall/ceiling speakers jumped from 584,000 units in 2003 to nearly 1.8 million in 2004, underscoring consumers' tremendous interest in entertainment options.
  • Consumers drive adoption. In five out of the seven technology categories the study tracks, a clear majority of builders say the main reason they install home technology is because either the buyer or the architect specified the products. The only case in which consumer demand wasn't a driving force was with structured wiring—55 percent say they offer the gear to keep up with the competition.
  • Technology delivers bottom line results. Roughly 25 percent of the builders who were interviewed say that home technology increases revenue potential.