OTT finds easy route to living room as global connected TV sales growth forecast

Global shipments of connected TVsA new study from DisplaySearch says that global sales of connected TVs will top 40 million units by the end of this year, and forecast the market will top 118 million by 2014, giving over-the-top video offerings an easier route to the living room.

"It's an exciting time for the connected TV sector," noted DisplaySearch Director of European TV Research Paul Gray in a statement. "It's a battleground where TV set makers, Internet video companies, free-to-air broadcasts, pay-TV and the IT industry are all rushing to stake their claim."

But, Gray said, the track record for connected TVs actually getting connected to the Internet has been spotty so far. He said only 10 percent of Internet-ready TVs sold in Japan, a market that's considered a bellwether in the industry, have actually been hooked up to the web; expectations for North America have been scaled back as the TV market struggles in the region this year as well.

The firm also said 3D TV adoption has been slow to take off with only 3.2 million units being sold worldwide.

"I think most of the TV supply chain senses that (connected TVs are) a seismic shift in the usage of TV that will be far more significant than 3D, which will not alter TV function or usage patterns," Gray said.

DispaySearch also said it expects that the connected TV market will split, with basic connected sets carrying enhanced services such as Hbb.TV, YouView and VuDu, while the smart TV segment will encompass configurable apps, sophisticated search and navigation engines, and advanced user interfaces. DisplaySearch defines a smart TV as one that can retrieve content from beyond walled gardens, has intelligent search and recommendation, is upgradeable by its owner, and is able to network seamlessly with other devices in the home.

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