Break out the salt, because ABI Research is making predictions on the complexion of your HT rig in 2013. Considering how long we've been hearing about convergence of PCs and HT, the prediction of a rise in HTPCs isn't exactly going out on a limb. But give the researchers credit, as they've got the guts to put a number on the trend -- 25 million, to be exact. ABI predicts that the path of PC + extenders will need to undergo some refinement before they really take off and that full-blown custom HTPC rigs will remain a fringe market. We've felt the sting on both of those counts. We know things will get better integrated, but we think that vendors will have to deliver entire end-to-end solutions for the HTPC to really take off en masse; "mix and match" approaches that rely on conformity between vendors doesn't have a great track record, or simply leave consumers baffled. A lot of improvement can happen in five years, and we don't want to see ABI's figure to represent 25 million unhappy consumers.
[Image courtesy ShamanCrystal]