Updated: Wednesday, 19 December 2012 15:22 | By Relaxnews

Smart TVs will be mainstream by 2016: report

Gartner claims that within the next three years, 85 percent of all new TVs will come with a built-in internet connection.


Smart TVs will be mainstream by 2016: report

Smart TVs will be mainstream by 2016: report

The report, published Tuesday, claims that despite current economic uncertainties, yearly TV production is expected to increase, growing from 69 million flat screen TVs in 2012 to 198 million in 2016. In the next year alone, manufacturers are predicted to ship 108 million TV sets.

However, Gartner states that internet connectivity alone will not be enough to build significant consumer interest and that consumers will be looking closely at companies that clearly differentiate their offering from that of their competitors.

"In the end, the choice may be all about the extra content that one TV brand offers over another. Consumers will be asking questions such as, which Internet TV services can the TV access? Are these the sites I think are valuable? Can I use my smartphone or tablet with this TV?" said Paul O'Donovan, principal research analyst at Gartner. "...[T]he extra functionality offered by smart TVs becomes the product differentiator -- if prices are already competitive and all other variables are equal between brands."

Smart TVs can access the internet to search for and play video content and can support third-party apps as well as providing an extra layer of interactivity for live or specialist broadcasts; they also increasingly provide access to video streaming or video-on-demand services such as Netflix. Google, Sony, Samsung and LG are all currently pursuing the smart TV strategies but until now progress has been slow. Apple's rumored entry into the marketplace with its own ‘smart TV set' could spark a renewed interest in the market as well as help to define certain protocols such as user interface.

But while the market for smart TV remains subdued, the TV's role in consumers' lives has already started evolving. It is fast becoming one of a number of screens used to digest content simultaneously as more and more people turn to tablets and smartphones to enhance the TV viewing experience -- a trend industry watchers have dubbed ‘the second screen'.

"With connectivity to smartphones and tablets comes the ability to pull content from the internet on one device and push that content to the TV. For those TV manufacturers that also make smartphones and tablets, the marketing advantage of the smart TV makes educating the consumer a lot easier," said O'Donovan.

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