The internet connected TV, or smart TV, industry grew significantly in 2010, accounting for nearly a quarter of all TV shipments throughout the year, according to the latest report by market research firm DisplaySearch.
21 percent of TVs sold this year have internet capability, with the Japanese TV market being the main factor behind the growth. Japan has a high penetration rate for internet TVs and the Eco Points system, a government-backed eco-friendly electronics programme, has helped push sales.
Google TV is one of the many internet-connected TVs that have contributed to the growth seen this year, but DisplaySearch said that while Google TV is a good start, it’s “not yet the Smart TV of people’s dreams”. It has suffered a number of setbacks, including lack of broadcaster support and a delay to TV set production, but 2011 looks set to be a big year for Google TV.
The internet TV sector is expected to boom even further over the next few years, reaching shipments of over 122 million in 2014. Emerging markets in Eastern Europe are expected to quadruple over the next four years to 10 million units, while China’s 12 percent penetration rate in 2010 is expected to grow even further in 2011 and beyond.
Internet congestion could be a problem, according to Paul Gray, the Director of European TV Research at DisplaySearch. He pointed out that Netflix accounts for a whopping 20 percent of peak internet traffic in the US and that if every TV was to be internet-connected the broadband infrastructure may simply be unable to cope.