Smart TV, games consoles and Blu-ray players helped drive the number of TV-centric connected devices installed in homes worldwide past the 1 billion mark last year, according to a new study.
IP-enabled set top boxes and low cost digital media adapters also contributed to the growth, with research author Futuresource Consulting predicting that number will surpass 2 billion by 2017.
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Jack Wetherill, senior market analyst, revealed that 44 per cent of the 225 million TVs shipped worldwide during the past 12 months incorporated smart features.
Over the next three years, Wetherill said the proportion of all TVs sold worldwide that offer online connectivity and smart features will move past 80 per cent in response to consumer demand.
"Three years ago, less than 30 per cent of people who owned a smart TV actually connected it to the internet," says Wetherill. "This has now risen to 68 per cent on average today, with the USA leading at a 79 per cent connection rate.
"Futuresource research with retailers suggests that consumers are attracted to smart features like gesture control and facial recognition, which may be harnessed for networked applications longer term."
Leading the way as the most popular TV-centric solution during 2013 are games consoles, with Microsoft and Sony in particular developing entertainment content and service partnerships.
Meanwhile, the set top box market continues to perform well despite the rise of OTT and connected devices – 225 million units were shipped last year, dominated by Pay-TV providers.
Wetherill revealed that the new generation of EPG-led platforms integrating DVR functionality with broadcast, cable and IP networks continue to prove popular with consumers.
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by Pete Hayman