Gaming Consoles Lead Global Connected TV Usage, According to NPD DisplaySearch

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27% of flat panel TVs are connected to the Internet, either directly from smart TVs or via other connected devices in the first quarter of 2013, according to a new DisplaySearch report.

Source: NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Smart TV Usage Study

Figure 1: TV to Web Connection Type

Despite an increase in the availability of TVs with internal connectivity options, consumers still primarily access online content using game consoles, media center boxes, and other devices connected to their existing TVs.

With growing interest in streaming content, online gaming, and apps on TVs, households are increasingly finding ways to connect their TVs to the Internet. In several developed countries, game consoles have become the most popular way to make that connection.

According to the new NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Smart TV Usage Study for the first quarter (Q1) of 2013, the way TVs are connected to the Internet varies depending on where consumers live in the world. The results of surveys completed of households in the US, Japan, China, France, Germany, Italy, and the UK found that 27% of flat panel TVs are connected to the Internet, either directly from smart TVs or via other connected devices in the first quarter of 2013 .

In connected flat-panel-TV households across all countries surveyed, the devices most often used to connect TVs to the Internet are Sony Playstation, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360, and other gaming consoles (19%), followed by Roku, Apple TV,PPTV Live and other media center boxes (17%). Behavior varies by country: for example, in China connected flat-panel-TV households most often connect through media center boxes (23%); while in the UK the favored connection is via gaming consoles (20%).

“Despite an increase in the availability of TVs with internal connectivity options, consumers still primarily access online content using game consoles, media center boxes, and other devices connected to their existing TVs,” said Riddhi Patel, Research Director at NPD DisplaySearch. “As consumers become more comfortable using the connectivity features of smart TVs, and as the navigation and search capabilities on those devices become more intuitive and user friendly, we can expect to see more consumers accessing the Internet directly from smart TVs.”

On average, in the seven countries tracked by NPD DisplaySearch, just 10% of consumers rely on smart TVs to connect to the Internet. Usage of smart TVs has been limited by higher prices, the widespread availability of other devices, and the complexity of connecting smart TVs to home networks and the web.

“While the connected TV market is still ruled by game consoles and other external devices that connect to TVs, new options are beginning to emerge,” noted Patel. “For example, USB-based media center box options, which are replacing physical boxes, are gaining popularity in the UK and other countries, while in China, smart TV adoption is on the rise due to aggressive promotions by manufacturers.”

For more detailed information on shifts in the connected TV market, contact Charles Camaroto about the Quarterly Smart TV Usage Study at 1-888-436-7673 or 1-516-625-2452, e-mail contact(at)displaysearch(dot)com, or contact your regional DisplaySearch office in China, Japan, Korea, or Taiwan.

About NPD DisplaySearch
NPD DisplaySearch, part of The NPD Group, provides global market research and consulting specializing in the display supply chain, including trend information, forecasts and analyses developed by a global team of experienced analysts with extensive industry knowledge. NPD DisplaySearch supply chain expertise complements sell-through information from The NPD Group, thereby providing a true end-to-end view of the display supply chain from materials and components to shipments of electronic devices with displays to sales of major consumer and commercial channels. For more information, visit us at http://www.displaysearch.com. Read our blog at http://www.displaysearchblog.com and follow us on Twitter at @DisplaySearch.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to drive better business decisions. By combining unique data assets with unmatched industry expertise, we help our clients track their markets, understand consumers, and drive profitable growth. Sectors covered include automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, entertainment, fashion, food / foodservice, home, luxury, mobile, office supplies, sports, technology, toys, and video games. For more information, visit http://www.npd.com and npdgroupblog.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup.

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