Overall, nearly 20 per cent of all TVs shipped in 2010 featured connected TV capabilities and according to the DisplaySearch latest Quarterly TV Design and Features Report, the connected TV category is forecast to grow to over 123 million shipments in 2014 (at a 30 per cent compound annual growth rate).
Emerging markets will also play a major role in this growth, with Eastern Europe forecast to grow from 2.5 million connected TVs shipped in 2010 to over 10 million in 2014. In addition, DisplaySearch findings indicate that 33 per cent of flat panel TVs sold in China in 2013 will have internet capability.
“The connected TV market is developing beyond mature regions like Western Europe and Japan,” said Paul Gray, Director of TV Electronics. “With some emerging countries having excellent broadband infrastructure, the adoption of connected TV capabilities is a natural next step in TV feature innovation.”
In developed regions, connected TV is a second wave following on the heels of digital broadcasting. In China, however, the adoption of connectivity is occurring in advance of digital terrestrial television (DTT) adoption. As a result, TVs shipped into this region can decode video from the internet, but not from terrestrial broadcast. DisplaySearch foresees a surge in China driven by decoder chip costs reaching a tipping point, as the cost for such capability is now low.
DisplaySearch forecasts that the connected TV market will become fragmented and increase in complexity. Basic connected sets carrying enhanced broadcast services such as Hbb.TV or basic video on demand (such as Netflix, Maxdome, Acetrax or VUDU) will appeal to consumers who expect TV to remain a passive experience. For more adventurous consumers, the smart TV segment will enjoy configurable apps, sophisticated search and navigation engines, and advanced user interfaces. DisplaySearch defines a smart TV as a TV that can retrieve content from the internet without the restrictions of a portal, has intelligent search and recommendations, is upgradeable by its owner, and is able to network seamlessly with other devices in the home.
Gray added, “Smart TVs are adding to what is already a fast-moving and fiercely competitive battleground, with competition appearing in all directions, including mobile PC devices such as tablets and increasingly powerful set top boxes with services accessible anytime, anywhere.”