Almost half of Internet capable home entertainment devices connected to the web, says NPD Group

Research shows that consumers are increasingly hooking up their TVs and streaming media devices to the web, and are enthusiastically downloading content from Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu.

(Source: Samsung)

Nearly half of Internet-capable TVs, game consoles, Blu-ray disc players, and streaming media players are hooked up to the web and in use, according to global information company The NPD Group’s Connected Intelligence Connected Home report.

What's particularly interesting is that Internet-capable TVs and Blu-ray disc players are the devices that are least likely to be connected to the Internet, while streaming media players and video game consoles are connected and used the most. This means that, for one reason or another, consumers are not making use of features that they've bought and paid for as part of their TV or Blue-ray player.

Although not examined by the NPD Group report, the most likely reasons for this are ease of use and the fact that streaming media players are pretty much useless unless they are hooked up to the web.

"While there are more Blu-ray disc players installed and connected to the Internet than streaming media players such as Apple TV and Roku, we expect that to change in the next year," said John Buffone, director, devices, NPD Connected Intelligence. "Streaming media players will exceed the number of installed and Internet-connected Blu-ray players in 2014."

Streaming is now gaining significant traction.

When it comes to content, the breakdown is just as interesting. Netflix is the most popular content provider, with 40 percent of TVs connected to the Internet — either directly or through another device — streaming from this source. Almost 20 percent are used for YouTube video and 11 percent to watch video on Hulu's ad-supported or Hulu Plus service. 

"Content usage remains dominated by Netflix and YouTube," said Buffone. "An opportunity for digital distribution lies in enticing consumers to plug in to the Internet and download the apps available on devices they already own."


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