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New technologies drive popularity of the wired home

More than 42 percent of newly built homes now include structured wiring for such technologies as high-definition television, broadband Internet connections, home networking or automated lighting, says a new study by the Consumer Electronics Association and the National Association of Home Builders Research Center.

Currently 78 percent of the nation's homebuilders offer such wiring as either a standard or optional feature. The wired home has become so popular that three-fourths of builders offer it just to compete in the marketplace, the study found.

Completed last fall, the study found that consumer technologies such as home theater, multi-room audio and video and monitored security represent "a potential cash cow" for builders. More than half of the builders surveyed indicated that home theater increases their profit potential, while another 47 percent said the same about multi-room audio.

Builders also say that buyers' concerns over home safety can be translated into dollars. More than 30 percent see the profit possibilities of monitored home security systems and 62 percent already offer it in their new homes.

The results of the study were released last week at the 2003 International Builders Show (IBS) in Las Vegas.

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