How will consumers get their video content in coming years? Increasingly, through connected TVs and connected devices.
Earlier this week, a new report from Digital TV Research forecasts the number of TV sets connected to the Internet would flirt with 1 billion by 2020, nearly three times the number that are expected to be connected by the end of this year.
DTVR said some 30% of all TVs globally 965 million will be connected to the Internet in 2020, compared to just 12%, 339 million, in 2014.
South Korea (53%) will have the highest proportion of Internet-connected TVs by 2020, followed by the United Kingdom at 51%, Japan at 49%, and the United Stated at 47%.
As in many other categories of the digital TV industry, the biggest growth is expected in APAC, with China holding sway; it’s expected to add 160 million TVs to the connected market, with the U.S. adding another 92 million and India another 75 million.
The researcher forecast the number of connected games consoles at 202 million by 2020, twice the 2013 total. Of the 111 million connected game consoles added between 2013 and 2020, the U.S. will provide 18.5 million and China 17 million.
But, said DTVR, smart TVs are beginning to play a bigger role in the ecosystem.
Smart TV sets overtook the number of games consoles connected to the web in 2013, and Smart TV sets are forecast to account for 346 million (36%) of the total connected sets in 2020. Some 56 million are forecast for the U.S., with 74 million in China.
Chromecast and similar products (such as Sky’s Now TV) are likely to have a considerable impact.
The global total of TV sets connected to the Internet through streaming STBs are forecast to hit 183 million in 2020 (31 million in the U.S. and 37 million in China), up from an expected 36 million by the end of 2014.
A recent study from researcher Strategy Analytics is even more bullish, with its estimates saying connected TVs and connected devices already exceed one billion units worldwide, and forecasting an increase to more than two billion by 2018 with a CE spend surpassing $1 trillion by 2017.
SA suggests it’s the near ubiquity of IP connectivity as the catalyst for consumer uptake of connected CE.
That availability of Internet, combined with broad connected CE markets and looser content licensing rights could prove to be the key to the market for non-traditional players in the TV market like Apple, Google and Amazon. All have big cash reserves, and all are positioned to potentially gather significant shares of the TV market.
Globally, online TV and video revenues over fixed networks are expected to exceed $42 billion by 2020, an increase of 122% from projected 2014 revenues of $19 billion. Revenues from OTT and online video are expected to exceed $15.5 billion in the U.S. alone.
By contrast, pay-TV revenues globally are expected to grow at a considerably slower pace, reaching $209 billion in 2020; that’s up from $193 billion in 2013, an increase of just 8%.
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The VidiPath Certification program draws on expertise from more than a decade of interoperability testing that the organization has performed on more than 25,000 device models, enabling more than 3 billion devices to share personal content on many types of devices in the home.
The guidelines were developed through a close collaboration between service providers and consumer electronics (CE) product manufacturers, and more than 15 companies have already begun pre-testing their products to prepare for certification.
We are extremely pleased to be launching the VidiPath Certification Program, and applaud service provider and CE members for developing the consumer-friendly VidiPath brand name that will simplify product shopping and selection as Certified devices become available later this year, said Scott Lofgren, chairman and president of DLNA. Consumers will know that VidiPath Certified products can stream and play subscription TV content on multiple, interoperable home devices, and their providers will use the VidiPath brand name to identify services that can be enjoyed on these Certified devices.
One of the key issues here is that the new program helps establish a standard for delivering TV services to an array of devices, something the FCC has focused on.
With their choice of a consumer brand for devices that successfully complete the certification process, North American cable operators have signaled their intent to quickly adopt VidiPath, said Brett Sappington, director of research for Parks Associates. They have also shown their interest in working with consumer electronics manufacturers to create a vibrant ecosystem of interoperable products for subscription TV viewing in the home.
As part of the program, subscribers will be encouraged to look for the new brand name, VidiPath, when shopping for retail devices that deliver service providers’ full viewing experience on many different screens in home.
DLNA is demonstrating products supporting its VidiPath Guidelines and will be sharing more details about its certification and branding programs during IBC in Booth #L22, Content Everywhere Hall at the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition & Convention Centre.
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