Analysts: Less than half of consumers take advantage of connected TV capabilities

In a glass half full/half empty conundrum, a pair of analyst reports reached the conclusion that connected devices are making inroads into the consumer's home entertainment setup, but are not ubiquitous by any stretch of the imagination.

In its Connected Home Report, NPD Group and Connected Intelligence determined that 47 percent of home entertainment devices "are currently connected and being used for their online capabilities." That means 53 percent are not.

That research was paralleled by another set of statistics developed by The Diffusion Group (TDG) which determined that 56 percent of all U.S. broadband households have at least one TV connected to the Internet, either on its own or through some ancillary device.

NPD's breakdown concluded that streaming media players are connected and used most often to link with Internet sites, while IP-capable TVs were at the bottom of the list.

"While there are more Blu-ray disc players installed and connected to the Internet than streaming media players such as Apple TV (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Roku, we expect that to change in the next year," John Buffone, Connected Intelligence's director of devices said in a news release.

Buffone believes this inflection will "help drive over-the-top content adoption" via a new set of streaming devices with "more compelling" interface capabilities.

According to CI, the top application accessed by these connected devices is Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), which garnered 40 percent of the connected TV attention, followed by YouTube at 17 percent and Hulu at 11 percent.

"Content usage remains dominated by Netflix and YouTube," Buffone noted. "An opportunity for digital distribution lies in enticing consumers to plug in to the Internet and download the apps available on devices they already own."

NPD apparently discounted the growth of IP-capable pay TV services to expand their online content directly to connected devices. TDG took that into account with its conclusion.

"Whether your goal is delivering OTT services to the TV or expanding the level of control pay TV subscribers enjoy, the reality that six in ten broadband households use a connected TV is encouraging news," Michael Greeson, TDG founding partner said in a corporate press release.

For more:
- Connected Intelligence and NPD Group issued this press release
- The Diffusion Group has this press release

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