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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Jul 20

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7/20/2012 6:29 AM  RssIcon

New market research forecasts nearly one-half of HDTVs shipped in 2012 will be Internet-connectable, and 75 percent of the owners of these sets watch online movies at least once a month on the Internet.

Parks Associates, a market research firm, found the percentages of U.S. smart-TV owners who use an Internet-connected device to watch online video increased by over 30 percent in six months.

Smart TVs have the potential to be both a threat and an opportunity for pay-TV providers.

“The percentage of smart-TV owners connecting the device to the Internet has steadily increased, from approximately 40 percent in 2010 to 56 percent today,” said Pietro Maccharella, a research analyst at Parks Associates. “This device, when connected, offers a toehold to a variety of players, including broadcasters, over-the-top video providers and pay-TV providers.”

The new research, called Smart TVs in a Pay TV World (http://www.parksassociates.com/report/smart-tvs-pay-tv/), shows the number of Internet-connectable TVs shipped will jump from less than one percent in 2008 to over 45 percent in 2012. The report also shows that on a near-daily basis, 30 percent of users watch movies and 32 percent watch TV shows.

“Smart TVs have the potential to be both a threat and an opportunity for pay-TV providers,” said Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks Associates. “Smart TVs provide consumers another way to access over-the-top services like Netflix on the TV, providing a new distribution channel that all players can leverage to deliver content to consumers.

“However, by integrating the smart TV into their distribution model, pay-TV providers can leverage their strengths in content costs, customer relationships, bundling and other areas to play a more substantial role in OTT,” he said. “In addition, pay-TV providers can potentially use smart TVs to lower subscriber CPE costs, an important consideration in a highly competitive market.”

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