More than 1/4 of flat panel TVs shipped this year are expected to have some form of Internet connectivity, a ratio that’s due to rise to 47%, or 138 million units, by 2015, according to DisplaySearch’s “Quarterly TV Design and Features Report.”

The transition from analog to digital TV broadcasting, most recently in India, and the drive to reduce energy consumption will lead to increasing the percentage of TVs equipped with WiFi Direct and other 802.11 wireless networking technology, as well as production of and demand for LED backlit TV sets. These shifts are not limited to developed economies, DisplaySearch says.

“The adoption of connected TV is not just taking place in developed regions,” said Paul Gray, DisplaySearch director of TV Electronics Research. “Emerging markets often have good broadband services, and there is a thirst from consumers to get the best content available.”

More than 98 million wireless networking-enabled TVs will ship in 2015, according to DisplaySearch, bringing the cumulative total connected TVs shipped to 500 million by the end of that year.

“WiFi technologies are the foundation of smart TVs,” added Gray. “We expect that in 2015, 35% of 46” or larger TVs in North America will be smart TVs, defined as having the following capabilities: able to retrieve content from the internet without the restrictions of a portal; intelligent search and recommendations; upgradeable by its owner; and able to network seamlessly with other devices in the home.”

Government regulations on power consumption of appliances are on the rise in countries around the world, and backlit LED sets have a distinct advantage when it comes to energy savings. Payback times for entry level LED backlit TV sets range from under four years in California to under two years in Europe, DisplaySearch notes.

“The finding is clear, and it is surprising that TV set makers do not market this advantage. Consumers are attuned to fuel consumption in cars, and our Global TV Replacement Study showed that they are equally mindful of electricity usage when choosing a TV,” Gray commented.


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