LONDON – About 45 million units and some 21 percent of all TVs shipped in 2010 are forecast to have internet connectivity, according to market research company DisplaySearch.
The market is predicted to rise to 63 million units in 2011, an increase of 40 percent, and on to 87 million units in 2012, an annual increase of 38 percent. The market will be 104 million units in 2013 and 122 million units in 2014, DisplaySearch (Santa Clara, Calif.) said.
Growth of connected TVs was fueled by the Japanese market in 2010 with strong market growth driven by the Eco Points system. Emerging markets will play a key role in the future growth of this segment, with Eastern Europe forecast to grow from 2.5 million connected TVs shipped in 2010 to over 10 million in 2014. DisplaySearch findings also suggest that 12% of flat panel TVs sold in China in 2010 will have internet capability.
It is expected that the connected TV market will bifurcate, with basic sets carrying enhanced broadcast services such as Hbb.TV and YouView, while the Smart TV segment will enjoy configurable applications, sophisticated search and navigation engines, and advanced user interfaces.
Just as smart phones represent the upper end of the phone market, smart TVs are generally thought to be capable of upgrades and changes to functionality by the consumer, typically by loading applications; able to receive content from the open internet, not just from within a "walled garden" defined by a portal; possess a content discovery engine, to permit rapid discovery and selection of content to watch and be able to communicate with other networked devices in the home via open standards.
Smart TVs are not limited to a specific operating system, and Linux (MeeGo) and Android (Google TV) platforms will be joined by others.
"The looming risk now is what happens if every connected TV gets used," said Paul Gray, director of European TV research with DisplaySearch. "With Netflix accounting for 20 percent of peak internet traffic in the U.S., it's reasonable to ask if the infrastructure can cope. Set makers need to understand that broadband access does not scale endlessly like broadcast reception."
A few years ago, I built one of my home PCs using a 'stereo component-like' case, ATI cablecard tuner, and HDMI capable video card. Actually, I'm laying here on my floor next to my fireplace, dog and snow blowing outside here in the mountains of New Mexico. While at the same time typing this message, a cable tv show on windows media center, and waiting to video chat with a friend in Nebraska. I'm having a great time with technology!
In the U.S., nearly every cable system offers video on-demand (VOD) TV shows and movies, much like Netflix -- but you must have a set-top box to watch on-demand content. Consumers who are streaming Netflix content are either using a Wii or other console in place of the set-top box, or else they have a connected TV.
At the moment, Netflix seems to have advantages over cable VOD in terms of cost and breadth of content. Cable companies could close that gap if they wanted to, but so far their VOD model is like a carousel in which everything has an expiration date. Netflix has no expiration dates on its content.
Having just recently acquired a connected TV, I can say that I really like it...for on demand video and/or news/info services.
I will leave the general Internet browsing and serious research to my trusty computer and wired mouse, and the ability to run many open windows with both internet sites and active desktop programs open at the same time.
What is stopping the good ol' cable/sat dish operators from providing on-demand programs? If they can do that, they can easily rival the lieks of Netflix. Their problem is surely not bandwidth, but a lack of application software perhaps??
A few years ago when I was taking an Eagle tester class, our instructor, during a break, told us that he did not have cable or satellite. He has his TV connected to a computer and only watches Youtube and other video available on the internet. I can see that the problem will be the bandwidth. Since Netflix already has 20% and they are working to move to only online video, this will be a big problem in the future. I don't want to wait for the video to download.
No question this is the way it is headed - bandwidth will be an issue, maybe home-satellite providers will have an edge here before available bandwidth can catch up.
In the UK, apple TV is making good inroads into the VOD market, as mentioned above text input is virtually impossible but could easily be incorporated via the wireless Mac keyboard with a few tweaks, or enhanced iPad functionality.
It feels like the desktopPC/Mac/Laptop and TV will stay as separate entities for some time, due to the current perception of them as serving different basic roles, but given the current crossover with content, the time will come when they are fully integrated units.
It is important to see HDTV with internet and having freedom to receive content from open internet. Without that, its utility is very limited. Another requirement is remote with features to enter to text easily. With current remote, it is futile effort. If vendor incorporate these two functionality, with sotrage available on cloud, many people may not need PC in thier home. Their basic requirement of email and internet surfing can be achived in TV with open internet content and good KB, mouse.
Both the TV and the internet devices have their own value proposition. In this age of computing and internet, TV is essentially a source of Big Screen experience offering more family entertainment. On the other hand, for the pundits of mobility, shrinking the form factors and power usage is the mantra. Essentially, the people who like to browse internet that much would have an ideal and smaller device in their pockets/bags and hence the TV-internet experience would be redundant.
For the lesse internet savvy, it might be a useless feature for which they wouldnt shell out more dollars.
A report pointed out that people spend more time browsing internet than in front of TVs. So an internet connectivity will give more freedom to people and probably boost the sale of LED TVs in the coming year.
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