Game consoles top list of devices used to connect TV to Internet, says study

Around the globe, connecting TVs to the Internet to stream content is growing in popularity and in many developed countries, the game console has become the preferred method of making the connection, according to new data from NPD DisplaySearch.

The findings, part of the “Quarterly Smart TV Usage Study,” reveal that how TVs get connected to the Internet varies on where consumers are living. The survey, which polled households in the United States, Japan, China, France, Germany, Italy and the UK found that 27 percent of flat-panel TVs are connected to the Internet — either directly or via a connected device.

The research revealed that in connected flat-panel-TV households, the devices most often used to connect to the Internet are game consoles, including Sony Playstation, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360, and other consoles at 19 percent. Next were media boxes, such as Roku, Apple TV, PPTV Live and other media center boxes at 17 percent.

The research found that the preferred method of connecting to the Internet varied by country. For example, in China connected flat-panel-TV households most often connect through media center boxes (23 percent); while in the UK, the favored connection proved to be the gaming console (20 percent).

“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 NPD DisplaySearch Research Director Riddhi Patel.

On average, in the seven countries tracked by NPD DisplaySearch, 10 percent 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.