138mn connected TVs to ship in 2015

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More than a quarter of all flat panel televisions shipped worldwide in 2011 will have some form of Internet connectivity, according to a new report from US firm DisplaySearch, which states that Internet services are "critical" to the future of television.

The number of connected TVs shipped globally is expected to reach 138mn in 2015, accounting for 47% of all flat panel TVs shipped. In total, a cumulative total of over 500mn connected TVs are expected to have shipped worldwide by the end of 2015.

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

The report adds that a recent decision by the Indian government to switch off analogue terrestrial signals and move to DVB-T2 digital broadcast in 2015 will pave the way for further innovation and bring forward the possibility of a major new market for connected TVs.

At the same time, trends like Wi-Fi Direct (which enables Wi-Fi devices to talk to one another without the need for wireless access points) will enable the TV to partner more readily with handheld devices in the home, such as smartphones and tablets. DisplaySearch forecasts that over 98mn television sets will ship in 2015 with 802.11 wireless networking built in.

“Wi-Fi technologies are the foundation of smart TVs,” adds Mr. 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.”
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