Some 119 million connected devices, including smart TVs, will be delivering broadband Internet to TVs in the U.S. come 2015, a 51% increase from 78.5 million at present, according to an estimate by The NPD Group. Streaming media players will exhibit the fastest growth, followed by connected TVs, connected Blu-ray disc players and connected video game consoles, NPD says.
“The battle in living rooms across the U.S. isn’t only between people deciding what to watch, it’s between the devices vying to get content onto the screen,” NPD’s director of the device practice of Connected Intelligence John Buffone was quoted in a press release. “Consumers have a lot of hardware options, on average 1.5 Internet devices per connected TV. When it comes to watching streamed content, TV viewers have to choose between the unique set of applications, user interface, and other characteristics offered by each device.”
Though connected video game consoles will grow slowest in percentage terms, they will continue to be the primary device used to deliver Internet service to TVs in the U.S., according to NPD’s “Connected Home Forecast Report.” NPD projects the number of installed Internet-connected video game consoles will rise 22% “as consumers begin to swap out their existing consoles for next generation consoles that rely heavily on connectivity.”
Connected game consoles are being used for more than gaming, NPD continues: 34% of PS3 users surveyed for NPD’s “2013 Online Gaming Study” said they watch DVDs via their game consoles and 30% said they had used it for playing Blu-ray discs. Twenty-four percent of Xbox 360 users said they use their devices to watch YouTube videos and 23% said they use them to watch DVDs. Streaming movies via Netflix was the highest rated non-gaming activity for Wii users (21%).