Connected-TV shipments globally to nearly triple by 2016

The number of connected televisions expected to ship worldwide by 2016 could nearly triple from 2011, with revenues reaching $117 billion, a new report from IMS Research forecasts.

Only 25 percent of TVs shipped in 2011 were Internet-ready, said IMS. That number is expected to reach 70 percent as the industry increasingly makes Internet-connectivity ubiquitous in new televisions.

Most high-end TVs now are Internet-ready, and that's likely to soon be the norm for TVs in the mid-range as well, said IMS Analyst Veronica Thayer.

Thayer also said proprietary operating systems are likely to govern the market in the near term, although Android OS-like that used by Google TV-could reach a "significant share" of the market by 2014.

The IMS Research report, Connected TV Sets-World-2012, also posits that more than 80 percent of the connected TV sets shipped worldwide will include Wi-Fi and almost a third, 30 percent, will include motion, gesture or voice controls.

Connected TVs are likely to push growth in the TV market, Thayer said, but will be pressed hard by other connected devices like Roku, Apple TV and game consoles.

Earlier this week, ABI Research reported that about 21 percent of U.S. households currently have Internet-ready devices or smart TVs connected to their home network. Game consoles remain the most connected, at 80 percent, followed by smart TVs, at 27 percent, and Blu-ray players, at 24 percent.

ABI predicted that more than 60 percent of U.S. homes will have game consoles, Internet-ready TVs or Blu-ray players by 2017.

ABI said that, despite the rising consumer interest in connected devices, it "does not anticipate a significant shift away from traditional pay-TV services, although it is possible these devices will contribute to limiting pay-TV's growth potential."

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