Connected TVMore than one in five U.S. households have a television connected to the Internet, according to ABI Research. The research firm noted that at least 21% of US households– some 27 million– either have an Internet-enabled TV, game console, Blu-ray player and/or smart set-top box (STB) connected to their home network, according to ABI Research. At 80%, game consoles top the list of devices connected to home networks, followed by Internet TVs (27%), standalone Blu-ray players (24%) and smart STBs (13%).

“Game consoles got an early lead in the connectivity space when Microsoft’s Xbox 360 launched in late 2005. Multiplayer gaming, along with the attention devoted to features outside of gaming from all three key console manufacturers, Microsoft and Sony in particular, have helped catapult the game console to the top of the connected CE space,” senior analyst Michael Inouye stated.

ABI’s research results indicate that many US households have yet to connect some of these devices to their home network. Overall, slightly less than half of US households have at least one current generation game console connected to their home networks and just under 16% have an Internet-ready TV connected to the home network. Less than 5% of U.S. households have smart STBs connected to home networks, according to ABI’s “Connected Home Devices Market Data” report.

Researchers expect this situation to change. By 2017, ABI predicts that more than 60% of U.S. homes will have game consoles, Internet-enabled TVs or Blu-ray players and “while not all of these devices will be connected, there is certainly room for growth, as only 48.5% of consumers with a home network currently have one of these devices connected to the Internet,” ABI said.

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“As CE manufacturers increase the value proposition by adding new services and features to these connected devices, the connect rate will certainly climb,” Inouye added. “This in turn will lead to an increased amount of time spent on these devices, but currently ABI Research does not anticipate a significant shift away from traditional pay-TV services, although it is possible these devices will contribute to limiting pay-TV’s growth potential.”

Leichtman Research Group recently published research found a much higher 38% of all US households have at least one TV set connected to the Internet, either via a video game system, a Blu-ray player, an STB or the TV itself.