Web-connected TVs to hit 123 million units in 2014

Despite all the fuss over 3D TVs it seems that web-connected sets are expected to have a bigger impact on the way people watch TV at home.

While people are constantly told to accept that they must fork out a fortune to don the ubiquitous 3D shades and risk throwing up their TV dinners, it seems that it is internet connectivity which is expected to become more prevalent over the coming years.

According to DisplaySearch, the smart TV category is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 30 percent to reach 123 million shipments in 2014, compared with the 91 million shipments forecast for 3D sets over the same period according to similar figures.

But while 3D TVs struggle with a paucity of content, stats show that with 20 percent of all TVs shipped in 2010 featuring internet connectivity, that figure will continue to rise due to growth in emerging markets.

For instance, in Eastern Europe, it is thought the 2.5 million connected TVs will grow to 10 million by 2014, while in 2013 33 percent of China’s flat screen sets will be connected to the web.

According to Paul Gray, director of TV electronics at DisplaySearch, the connected TV market is “developing beyond mature regions like Western Europe and Japan,” with certain emerging markets already having excellent broadband infrastructure.

The actual market for web-connected sets is likely to become fragmented and complex in the functions that it offers customers.

For example some consumers are likely to just want to access video on demand sites like Netflix or Lovefilm, while others will want a more comprehensive and interactive set with configurable apps, sophisticated search and navigation engines and the like.

As Gray points out, such TVs are adding to “what is already a fast-moving and fiercely competitive battleground, with competition appearing in all directions,” including the multitude of mobile PC devices available at the moment such as tablets and “increasingly powerful set top boxes with services accessible anytime, anywhere.”

However as TechEye reported previously, while the speed with which internet connectivity is set to continue to revolutionise the way that we watch television, it is worth giving some consideration to the effect that the quickening pace of the TV replacement cycle has on the sets that are no longer needed.

DisplaySearch Worldwide Connected TV Forecast (Shipments)