smart-tvThe percentage of smart TVs actually connected to the Internet is on the rise,  according to new market research from NPD Connected Intelligence. Eighty percent of installed smart TVs and streaming media players will be connected by year-end 2019 as compared to 70 percent in 2015.

NPD attributes the increase to devices and equipment that prompt end users to enable Internet access and other improvements to user interfaces. Also fueling the increase is higher quality app programming from TV networks, NPD said.

The number of Internet-connected devices capable of delivering apps to TVs will grow 59 percent from 2015-2019 to reach 238 million, NPD said. Connected TVs will comprise the largest portion, accounting for 45 percent of growth over the four-year period, while the number of connected streaming media players will account for 35 percent.

“With an ever-increasing number of connectable devices expected to be connected to the Internet, viewers will have the ability to choose their preferred option instead of using the only device they have attached to their TV,” said John Buffone, NPD Connected Intelligence executive director and industry analyst, in a press release about the percentage of smart TVs actually connected to the Internet. “This shift will inevitably result in diminished usage for some devices.”

Ownership Also on the Rise
More than 4 in 10 U.S. Internet homes (43%) will have at least one streaming media player by the end of 2019, NPD predicts. It expects streaming media players will be installed in more homes than any other connected TV device beginning this year and through 2019.

Consolidation among smart TV OS platforms has already begun and will continue over the forecast period, the NPD unit says. Two leading streaming media player vendors, Google, with Chromecast, and Roku are increasingly involved in the smart TV market as well. Rather than managing their own connected TV app ecosystems, 10 TV manufacturers have partnerships with Google Chromecast and Roku, according to the market research provider.

“The integration of streaming media player operating systems into TVs points to the beginning of a consolidation of operating systems that app developers will need to focus on in order to reach their audience,” said Buffone.

In recent, related market research, more than half of the TV sets shipped worldwide in 1Q’16 were smart TVs, according to IHS Technology. That includes North America, where smart TVs accounted for 56 percent of 1Q’s total.

Image courtesy of flickr user Vadim Smakhtin.