MANHASSET, NY -- Internet services are becoming critical to the future of television as TV manufacturers in 2011 aim to ship more than a quarter of all flat panel TVs with some form of Internet connectivity.
According to market research firm DisplaySearch, this number is forecast to grow to 138M units in 2015, accounting for 47 percent of all flat panel TVs shipped.
"The adoption of connected TV is not just taking place in developed regions," said Paul Gray, DisplaySearch Director of TV Electronics Research, in a statement. "Emerging markets often have good broadband services, and there is a thirst from consumers to get the best content available."
According to DisplaySearch research, by the end of 2015, over 500 million connected TVs will have shipped.
The recent decision by the Indian government to switch off analog terrestrial signals and move to DVB-T2 digital broadcast in 2015 paves the way for further innovation and brings forward the possibility of a major new market for connected TVs, according to the report. At the same time, trends like WiFi Direct enable the television to hook up more readily with handheld devices in the home, such as smart phones and tablets.
DisplaySearch forecasts that more than 98 million TV sets with 802.11 wireless networking built-in will ship in 2015.
"We expect that in 2015, 35 percent of 46-in or larger TVs in North America will be smart TVs, defined as having the following capabilities: able to retrieve content from the internet without the restrictions of a portal; intelligent search and recommendations; upgradeable by its owner; and able to network seamlessly with other devices in the home," according to Gray.
Smart TVs with wifi and other wirless feautres are usefull to those segment of people with computer literacy. Ordinary common public will not have much interest to use this advance techniques. There will be a limitation in its selling due to its initial investment and its recurring expenditures.
Check out the InfiniTV4 from Ceton Corp. This is hands-down the best thing that has come out for HTPC's, at least if you are using Windows Media Center. I have one with a multistream Cablecard in it and I get 4 HD streams at once without a cable box.
(Not affiliated with Ceton, except as a very satisfied customer)
Yeah, the CableCard turned out to be quite a joke, didn't it? The vast majority that were deployed simply got plugged into the set-top boxes that the cable company rents to its subscribers.
Like some of you, I too have a HTPC. But mine serves mostly as an overflow DVR, since it can only access unencrypted cable channels (i.e., the OTA broadcast TV networks).
I have still not yet heard of a PC-oriented product that can accommodate a CableCard. Some products were announced years ago, but never seemed to get to market.
This is what Cablecard was supposed to do, and what the FCC is trying to do with Allvid. They want to pry control out of the hands of the cable companies and create opportunities for more open platforms with fewer toll gates. The cable companies, of course, are fighting this tooth and nail.
This is why systems like TVs need to have protection built into them. Android, for example, shields the system code through the use of the Dalvik virtual machine. That doesn't mean that nothing can get through, but at least it makes it harder to do.
I believe that there are a lot of opportunities for both PC OEMs and the CE OEMs. I believe that your implementation of "Connected TV" is probably the most bullet proof. However, I suspect that the cable/satellite MSOs do not want to support your implementation. For example, I don't think that MSOs are offering software-downloadable conditional access. OpenCable talked about this for years but the CE/PC OEMs have not been able to build the support into their end-products.
Perhaps only when the la-carte business model no longer exist, consumer can then have the ability to choose what to watch, when to watch a content regardless of the geographical location of this content (Asia, Europe, America)!
Intel / AMD / Microsoft were pushing the Use Case in which a PC acts as the gateway for content while the content received, together with the UI, are projected to the TV screen. This means that your NB PC (or tablet) with WiDi or any of the 5G/60GHz wireless technology access a web site (not wall-gardened), grab the content, stream the content either wirelessly or through the HDMI cable, or through the PLC protocol to the big screen TV. If your NB PC or tablet catch a virus, just flush the internal SSD or HDD with a new OS build. Or, if your NB PC or tablet has multiple instances of the OS installed in the individual virtual system, you can still keep on surfing the web or doing your work while the affected virtual system is being re-built. With more than 50Mu of tablets and more than 250Mu of NB PCs shipped this year and greater than 10% CAGR for the multi-core based tablets every year from hereforth, Connected TV can be either a single wall-gardened device or a truly open device. The CE and Computing industries should probably work together to offer both a homogeneous and heterogenous implementation and let the consumers choose the one which they can afford at a specific time.
While having a TV as an internet connected device sounds like a great idea, it doesn't address the concept of upgradability in the future. By having basically a computer in a tv, we tether ourselves to the lifespan of the current architecture. When my computer (tv) becomes 3 years old and it just doesn't cut it anymore, does this mean that I have to toss it in a landfill and buy a new one? What the device makers need to realize is that the tv is just an oversized computer monitor with the bonus of a tv tuner. It's a 'dumb' device and should remain that way.
Like Bert, I have converged my entire media experience into one device known as a HTPC (Home Theatre PC), and interfaced it with my audio/video system. Essentially, I've replaced five deices (DVD/Blueray player, TV Tuner, DVR, media server, PC) and rolled them into one. It does the same as as a Smart TV ... plus more. As components get outdated, I can upgrade them individually allowing me to reuse most parts thus eliminating waste. The system could also be used as a gaming platform to eliminate yet another device (ie PS3/XBOX) however, this is something I don't think it's ready to converge just yet. My HTPC does take between 1 and 2 minutes to boot up, but that's minor since the unit is always left on in order to use the DVR & media server aspects of it.
I realize that most consumers are 'lazy & stupid' (we'll call that a marketing term). They barely know how to tie their own shoelaces let alone build their own HTPC. They're happy to have marketing departments tell them what they want and need instead of determining it for themselves. So maybe Smart TVs will take off ... it all depends on how many Dumb Consumers are out there.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.