It’s estimated that almost half of all new TV sets sold in 2013 will be capable of connecting to the Internet. Which is great. However, it’ll only actually be useful if some level of standardization is pursued rather than the numerous proprietary systems currently being introduced.
Connected To The Internet
An increasing number of consumer electronics are Internet connected these days. As well as the set-top boxes which rely on a Web connection, games consoles, TVs, Blu-ray players, and mobile devices can all be hooked up to the Internet.
Many of these devices then become capable of airing online video. Games consoles in particular are proving to be strong drivers of online video, as is Netflix with its ‘Watch Instantly’ service streaming to numerous devices and platforms.
Ethernet TV Sets
Many flat-screen television sets now come with Ethernet connectivity, although the percentage is still pegged at around 19 percent, or one in five of all new sets sold.
However, a new forecast from ABI Research claims these figures will rise considerably to hit 46 percent in 2013. So in just three short years time, almost half of all TV sets will be able to connect to the Web.
Industry analyst Michael Inouye said:
“TV makers no longer want to build dumb screens. Rather than simply selling boxes, TV makers themselves could try to secure part of the revenue generated by ads their devices present”.
This would obviously be a big boost to online video, with the need to use computers and even set-top boxes and the like fading into the background. At least that’s a possibility.
Standardization Or Death?
The problem at the moment is that there’s no inkling of standardization. Instead, most TV manufacturers are pursuing their own connected TV platforms. And then there are the likes of Project Canvas from the BBC, DivX TV, Vudu, Google TV, and Boxee amongst others.
Too many different proprietary systems emerging at once, all essentially in competition with each other, is going to lead to mayhem. And now would surely be the time for one or two platforms to emerge as the favorites.
Whatever happens, Internet connected televisions should help lift the popularity of online video, as watching in the living room from the sofa will surely bring Web TV into into the mainstream in a big way.
It should also help those hoping to cut the cord from cable and satellite television.
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