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Report: 350 Million Connected TVs Sold by 2015

6 Jan, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Televisions connected to the Internet are hot, and expected to get hotter.

Sales of connected TVs are expected to quadruple to 350 million units sold by 2015 from 2010, according to a new study from Parks Associates. The increasing migration toward the Web for access to entertainment content — underscored by the success of the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy tablet computers — is pushing consumer electronics manufacturers to embed new-generation TVs with apps and hardware upgrades capable of connection to the Internet.

"The market has reached the fourth generation of connected TVs, and all major manufacturers are debuting new models at CES with innovations in content aggregation, apps development and user interfaces,” said Kurt Scherf, VP and principal analyst for Parks Associates. “Content options are finally catching up to the hardware innovations, and growing libraries of on-demand movies and TV available are starting to unlock the potential of connected TV devices as multifunction online entertainment and communications platforms.”

Internet-connected Blu-ray Disc players closely follow Web-enabled TVs in growth projections, ahead of video game systems and media players. Indeed, sales of largely connected Blu-ray players surged 27% during the winter holidays, according to The NPD Group.

The expanded presence of these devices will increase opportunities for apps developers — including third-party developers and giants such as Google, Samsung and Yahoo! Consumers — also will be important in deciding whether a controlled apps environment or the open-browser approach advocated by Google will be the dominant model for the connected TV market in the next five years.

“Companies across the value chain — including content aggregation, broadcast television, delivery and management, CE, pay-TV providers and retail — have significant opportunities to deliver content to a large number of new devices,” Scherf said.

The report said access to premium and user-generated video is a main driver for adoption and use of Internet-connectable devices. Access to streaming music, online photos, social network updates, personalized news and information, and simple games are also popular features for current users and likely buyers.

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