Nearly 70 million households will have smart TVs by 2017

September 30, 2013 - 6:23pm
Smart TVs will reshape increase the convergence of television and online video.

According to new research conducted by Parks Associates, the number of households with smart TVs, as well as the number of users watching video online, will continue to increase significantly over the next several years. A smart TV is a hybrid television set in which Internet features are integrated into traditional set-top boxes. It's different from other over-the-top (OTT) viewing options in that it comes packaged from the manufacturer as part of their TV system, as opposed to an add-on service from a third party vendor. Smart TVs may offer the most complete Internet television environment available on a single device.

The research firm projected that there will be 175 million online video viewers in the U.S. by the end of 2013, a number that will rise to 191 million by 2017. By that time there will also be almost 70 million households with smart TVs. The rise of smart TVs also bolsters the forecast of the traditional content-viewing device remaining the top option for a majority of viewers. Currently, more than 40 percent of TV owners utilize their TV sets to watch more than 10 hours of video per week.

"The rise of OTT video viewing on smart TVs presents a new channel for content owners to sustain and grow their viewing audience, particularly in a marketplace that continually propagates fragmentation," said Parks Associates senior analyst Heather Way. "The ability to leverage the mass reach of the first screen and its interactive components drives the scale and performance of a video asset."

Converged content viewing platforms and the proliferation of interactive devices makes it imperative that operators have backhaul solutions in place that can support an increasingly stratified video transport environment, TMCnet reported. Smart TVs come with a wide variety of baked-in service, but they have the potential to put strain on systems that must deliver traditional satellite content along with web-based programming. Integrated receiver decoders allow operators to make their infrastructure more flexible and capable of handling digital video turn-around distribution.

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