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TVs, Blu-ray players to surpass game consoles as top connected devices

Posted: 25 Jul 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:game consoles? blu-ray players? connected consumer electronics? Smart set-top boxes?

ABI Research has projected that connected TV penetration in North America and Western Europe will surge from just over 10 percent in 2011 to over 50 percent by 2017. Blu-ray penetration is expected to have a similar progression, increasing from about 25 percent in Western Europe and North America in 2011 to over 76% by 2017 (standalone and game consoles included). On the other hand, game console penetration rates by 2017 are only expected to pass 61 percent and 46 percent in North America and Western Europe respectively, with rates notably lower in other regions.

There are four major connected video consumer electronic (CE) devices: connected TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles and smart set-top boxes (STBs). Michael Inouye, a senior analyst for ABI Research, stated that most CE manufacturers, like Samsung and LG, use a common platform for connected TVs and Blu-ray players. Microsoft and Nintendo only take part in the game console market, while Smart STB leaders Apple and Roku don't participate in the other connected markets. Sony is the only company which partakes in all CE device markets. Samsung and LG have been the most proactive in the TV and Blu-ray space, brining connected features such as new user interfaces that parallel features made popular by gaming consoles.

The spread of connectivity is not unique to mature markets, as OEMs in China, such as Skyworth and TCL, have also reported growing shipments of connected TVs. In many regards the TV is the most natural device to access connected services and content C there is no need, for instance, to change the video input when accessing online content. In primary survey studies consumers have also placed the connected TV as the most desired device to receive Internet content on the main screen. Despite this growth, however, one device type will not command the market, placing greater emphasis on the overall ecosystem.

Inouye added, "The early connectivity lead enjoyed by the game consoles will continue to wane, but this does not mean these devices will become integrated into the TV. The 8th generation of consoles will offer a boost to the industry, placating core gamers with new hardware while expanding the device's role as the central media hub through complementary media and services. Game consoles will be de-throned as the most connected CE device, but they may remain the most relevant."

These findings are part of ABI Research's Consumer Electronics Research Service which includes additional Competitive Analysis, Vendor Matrices, Market Data, and Insights.

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