The challenges, and opportunities, of a booming connected TV and device market

editor's corner

Jim O'Neil

Got a connected TV? Or, a connected device that connects your TV to the Internet?

Join the crowd.

New research from Leichtman Research Group says that 38 percent of all U.S. households now have at least one TV that's connected to the Internet. The study said the number represents all connections, whether directly through a smart TV or a gaming console, Apple TV, Roku box or similar device.

Last year, that number stood at 30 percent; two years ago it was just 24 percent.

Leichtman said only 4 percent of U.S. households currently are connected solely through a smart TV, but other researchers say that number will continue to grow--rapidly--as more connected TVs come to market and increasingly are connected by consumers.

That flood of connected TVs is already causing consternation among service providers, content owners and advertisers, not to mention set-top box manufacturers worried about what the connected device trend means to them.

Samsung, for example, working with French satellite TV provider Fransat and Neotion, this week announced it was rolling out a series of TV sets that give consumers access to Fransat's programming without the need for a set-top box. It instead uses a $170 module that fits into a slot on the back of the television... no wires, no additional footprint.

At NAB Tuesday, April 17, I'll be moderating a breakfast panel that takes a look at the issues and opportunities created by connected TVs. Panelists include Turner Broadcasting's Don Loheide, VP of advanced video; Fox Broadcasting's Hardie Tankersley, VP of innovation; Google's Irv Kalick, principal of business development for Google TV; the UFC's Christy King, VP of digital, technology research and development; AT&T's GW Shaw, AVP of U-verse; and, KIT Digital's COO Alex Blum.

The panel, obviously, will bring a wide range of opinions, and experiences to the table. And, if we don't answer your question, there will be plenty of time available for questions from the audience.

You can still register to attend the breakfast panel here. Hope to see you at the show.--Jim