Report: 20M Wireless Web-enabled TVs to Ship in 201121 Jul, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
To help jumpstart the market for Internet-enabled high definition televisions, consumer electronics manufacturers are upping efforts to market wireless networked TVs that circumvent the need for close proximity to broadband connections and wiring, according to a new report.
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based ABI Research projects that in 2011, some 20 million TVs offering wireless connectivity will ship worldwide. This segment is expected to show continued growth through the study’s forecast horizon of 2014.
Wireless TVs with Internet connectivity could take away much of the mystery surrounding streaming and media downloads to the TV.
“Many current TV models are nearly capable of being networked, at least for basic functions,” said ABI analyst Michael Inouye. “Basic networking often only entails additional memory, Ethernet support at the chip level (and active port), and software – the hardware component being relatively inexpensive.”
The market for Web-enabled TVs is already firmly entrenched in Japan, with North America, Western Europe and select Asian countries earmarked for growth beginning in the 2009 holiday season and into 2010, according to the report.
Analyst Inouye said a critical factor for the success of this new kind of entertainment is the position of the owners of that content, namely the studios and their willingness to distribute content via the Web at the expense of packaged media sellthrough.
“These will be the watershed periods when vendors will see whether networked TV should trickle down to mainstream models and really take off,” Inouye said. “At the end of the day, if the content holders don’t let their content go to this platform in a timely manner, it’s just not going to get anywhere.”