According to Futuresource Consulting, the global installed base of TV-centric connected devices surpassed one billion units in 2013 and will exceed 2 billion by 2017. The growth is driven by smart TV, IP-enabled set top boxes, game consoles, Blu-ray players and low cost digital media adapters.
“TV sales account for 70% of traditional AV consumer electronics market value, and smart features and connectivity are the latest in a stream of innovations to sustain the industry, drive replacement demand and encourage consumers to upgrade to the next big thing,” says Jack Wetherill, Senior Market Analyst, Futuresource Consulting. “44% of the 225 million TVs shipped worldwide in 2013 offered smart features and consumers now increasingly expect these enhancements on mid-range as well as high end models. By 2017, over 80% of all TV sets sold worldwide will be enabled for online connectivity and smart features. As a result, apps are also an opportunity for manufacturers to differentiate with unique features and content.”
Three years ago, less than 30% of people who owned a smart TV actually connected it to the internet. This has now risen to an average of 68%, with the U.S. leading at a 79% connection rate. Futuresource’s research suggests that consumers are attracted to smart features like gesture control and facial recognition, which may be harnessed for networked applications in the future.
Game consoles currently lead the way as the most popular TV-centric media player solution, with both Microsoft and Sony building entertainment content and service partnerships to add value for their networked users. With the recent release of Xbox One and PlayStation 4, games consoles are shipping in high volumes–31 million units worldwide in 2013–and moving into a new cycle, although the overall market is expected to gradually contract from 2015 onwards.
“In parallel with all this, ownership of personal multimedia devices has soared from 2.8 billion in 2013, on track to reach 4.4 billion by 2017 as tablets and smartphones become ubiquitous and supplant PCs as alternative viewing platforms,” says Wetherill.