Half a Billion Connected TVs by 2015
New research says that 138 million web-enabled TVs will ship in 2015 alone.
July 06, 2011 by Rachel Cericola

Love being able to access Netflix right on your TV screen? You are not alone. New data by DisplaySearch says that manufacturers are making a major push with web-enabled HDTVs.

According to the DisplaySearch Q2’11 Quarterly TV Design and Features Report, over 25 percent of the TVs shipping this year have some type web connectivity. If that seems like a lot (or doesn’t), just wait until 2015. The research firm expects 138 million web-enabled TVs to ship just in that year—and those connected sets will account for 47 percent of all flat-panel TVs shipped.

When we all gather to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve 2015, you could be watching the festivities through a connected TV. DisplaySearch says that by the end of that year, over 500 million connected TVs will have shipped.

However, Netflix isn’t the sole driver of connected TV technology. The report says that WiFi devices, such as smartphones and tablets, also play a huge part in people wanting a web-enabled TV. Expect 98 million of those TVs shipping in 2015 to have built-in WiFi.

“WiFi technologies are the foundation of smart TVs,” says Paul Gray, TV electronics research director at DisplaySearch. “We expect that in 2015, 35 percent of 46 inches or larger TVs in North America will be smart TVs, defined as having the following capabilities: able to retrieve content from the internet without the restrictions of a portal; intelligent search and recommendations; upgradeable by its owner; and able to network seamlessly with other devices in the home.”

While many TVs will have web services embedded, there’s still the task of choosing a TV technology. DisplaySearch says that consumers may opt for LED, given the energy savings.

“The finding is clear, and it is surprising that TV set makers do not market this advantage,” adds Gray. “Consumers are attuned to fuel consumption in cars, and our Global TV Replacement Study showed that they are equally mindful of electricity usage when choosing a TV.”

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Rachel Cericola - Contributing Writer
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.

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