NPD: Only one-third of US households have Internet-connected televisions

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited May 2014
Despite the increasing popularity of streaming set-top boxes, gaming consoles, and so-called "smart TVs," just 42 million of America's 115 million households have televisions that can display content from the Internet, suggesting significant room for growth for Apple TV.




The seemingly low figure released Thursday nevertheless represents a 17 percent increase over the numbers from one year ago, when only 36 million households had internet-connected devices in their living room. Market research firm NPD arrived at the totals after surveying 5,000 individuals as part of their most recent Connected Home Report.

"Consumers want devices that can deliver high-quality content to their TVs," NPD executive John Buffone said in a release. "The increase in Connected TV and streaming media player penetration is proof that consumers are investing in solutions that can provide app-related content in the simplest, most effective way."

Notably, the number of streaming media players surpassed connected Blu-ray disc players in living rooms for the first time. That surge in adoption may be good news for Apple as the company is thought to be preparing a major update to its own set-top streamer, the Apple TV.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, connectivity and user experience were at the top of the list when respondents were asked what was most important to them in a connected device, as 67 percent said that the ability to connect to the internet over Wi-Fi was their biggest concern. That was followed by desire for an easy-to-use remote control, minimal content buffering, an easily navigable home screen, and the availability of high-definition programming.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    leavingthebiggleavingthebigg Posts: 1,118member

    It all comes down to trust. When LG provided its customers the ability to opt-out of having their usage data sent to LG, LG chose to ignore the opt-outs. There really is no reason whatsoever for LG or any other company to charge for a television then invade the privacy of customers who opt-out of being tracked.

  • Reply 2 of 32
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    And I'll wager that a small percentage of even that third.even have the connection hooked up.
    I know that if my tv's IP connection was via the set's built in software, I'd never use it.
  • Reply 3 of 32
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,264member
    It all comes down to trust. When LG provided its customers the ability to opt-out of having their usage data sent to LG, LG chose to ignore the opt-outs. There really is no reason whatsoever for LG or any other company to charge for a television then invade the privacy of customers who opt-out of being tracked.

    Personally I think that remaining two-thirds comes down to need vs. cost for the most part. Trust has little to do with it.
  • Reply 4 of 32
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,199member

    I don't even have a TV. My laptop removed the need for a TV a decade ago. Better resolution, and if you sit close enough you can't tell the difference.

  • Reply 5 of 32
    _rick_v__rick_v_ Posts: 141member

    I have two "smart" TV's (one's a Sony, the other a Samsung), and I will never connect either one.  The reasons are simple:

     

     

    So, no thank you.  I'll stick to AppleTV, or companies that understand how to make a networking product.

  • Reply 6 of 32
    sailorpaulsailorpaul Posts: 297member
    Ditto. Our great big Samsung is never directly connected to the internet. The honor of a wired 1G Ethernet cable goes to our Apple TV. It IS a matter of trust & proven software update practices
  • Reply 7 of 32
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    The definition seems vague. Is it counting only TVs with built-in streaming, or are they counting streaming through external devices like AppleTV, PS3, etc?

    I haven't seen a built-in streaming feature that I liked. They seemed like afterthoughts. External devices seem to be much better, they live or die on experience, internal circuitry can be turned off or ignored.
  • Reply 8 of 32
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member

    That's a lot.

  • Reply 9 of 32
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,354member

    No, it's not.

     

    Considering most households have an Internet connection and multiple television sets, the fact that one-third have Internet-connected TVs is actually quite small.

  • Reply 10 of 32
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member

    How many people realize that buffering, connectivity etc is very dependent upon a half decent wifi set-up (read router). A lot of people have no idea and are running ancient wifi routers.

  • Reply 11 of 32
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,717member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GQB View Post



    And I'll wager that a small percentage of even that third.even have the connection hooked up.

    I know that if my tv's IP connection was via the set's built in software, I'd never use it.

     

    This.  The "smart TV" feature on my LG HDTV is a complete mess.  I disabled it (e.g. turned off its internet access) within hours of having the TV set up. 

     

    And that was before the revelations detailing how LG spied on their customers' watching habits. 

     

    The one feature I am glad to have are the 4 HDMI inputs plus one 1080i component input for the cable box.  In fact, all I need is for the TV to provide a decent number of HD inputs and an easy way to switch between them (also an LG weak suit) and I'll handle the content from there.

  • Reply 12 of 32
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,717member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post

     

    How many people realize that buffering, connectivity etc is very dependent upon a half decent wifi set-up (read router). A lot of people have no idea and are running ancient wifi routers.


     

    The streaming devices that matter most to me get wired Ethernet.  No reason to float Netflix/MLB.tv/ESPN3/Amazon Prime/Steam game content/etc. over the airwaves when the devices and TV are, for the most part, stationary.  YMMV.

  • Reply 13 of 32
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,834member
    The iPad is the biggest screen in my house and I'm fine with that.
  • Reply 14 of 32
    reydnreydn Posts: 73member
    What about those of us with our computer (Mac mini) hooked up to our TV? Maybe there aren't many of us, but I consider my TV's 'box' pretty dang smart lol
  • Reply 15 of 32
    p5cho6p5cho6 Posts: 6member

    My TV has internet capability (netflix, amazon, etc..) but its more intuitive and faster on my xbox one.

  • Reply 16 of 32
    dws-2dws-2 Posts: 227member

    I deliberately bought a non-smart tv because they're all terrible. In addition, the technology behind the "smarts" changes a lot faster than I'm likely to purchase a new tv. To keep up with the latest technology, I'd much rather change a $99 box than a $999 tv.

  • Reply 17 of 32
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by John.B View Post

     

    The streaming devices that matter most to me get wired Ethernet.  No reason to float Netflix/MLB.tv/ESPN3/Amazon Prime/Steam game content/etc. over the airwaves when the devices and TV are, for the most part, stationary.  YMMV.


    It makes sense, but I'd wager that most people are less organized, less tech savvy, have more than one TV, have kids that watch on iPads, laptops, etc. They buy the Apple TV and plug it in, period. I have a friend who fits this category perfectly. The 'reception' was terrible so he went to the store and they sold him a wifi extender. It worked but his router is old as the hills. His iPhone works only off cellular because he doesn't know the password, or so he says, even though he managed to plug in the Apple TV.

  • Reply 18 of 32
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,980member
    Smart TVs suck. I've had my first personal experience with the suckiness last night. My parents went against my advise and bought one. The guy at Double-Click (an Apple retailer) told them the Apple TV is for computer experts. WTF?? The guy advised a smart tv would be best. I assume he is yet another techno weenie. They bought a Samsung smart tv. A day or two later, they called me for help. They couldn't figure it out.

    First problem was that RCN requires them to rent digital cable boxes (I could rant about that too, but suffice to say it is yet another pointless device with connections and it's own remote control... and horrible picture quality; I see better on YouTube).

    The tv is overblown. Some of it is straightforward but the Internet stuff is like looking at a wannabe friendly computer OS made out of a Linux. It's geeky, not self explanatory, and all the rest of the problems you'll find on countless articles about why smart TVs suck and are quite stupid.

    I explained how things would have to work (use different modes on amplifier for different content, different remotes for different content, thank you mothereffers at RCN for the added complications). I explained that this tv has no YouTube app and observed the horrific GUI experience of the built in web browser. I advised my mother use her perfectly capable MacBook Air for all Internet stuff required by the tv (setting up Pandora, using YouTube)...

    And then i advised they see if they can trade the smart tv for a non-smart tv and buy an Apple TV for Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo, etc and AirPlay the Internet-only stuff to the tv from their Macbook Air via Apple TV.

    They have a history of this habit... Don't listen to son's advise, listen to some so-called authority instead, find that their son was right anyway... Sigh. Their problem. Not mine. I sent my mother an article about the smart TVs and she said "you told us some of these things before, now we have first hand experience". [shrug]

    But this is the kind of crap people experience, these crappy smart TVs. My parents are average people that aren't tech people. They just want something simple but there isn't much offered that IS. Between the utter garbage performance and GUI design of smart TVs, and the COST of having an Internet package AND such a tv connected to it... (I saw their monthly phone-Internet-cable bill; it's horrific)... Most people are not wealthy and not tech geeks. This stuff is therefore irrelevant to them. Buying over-complicated smart TVs built by geeks with no human interfacing expertise, for geeks that love Linux, defeats the whole point of using a tv instead of a computer. Those of us that ARE comfortable with computers use them instead of TVs, anyway.

    I can see why Internet-connected TVs are not common in homes. They're horrible devices. If Apple sold an actual tv, they'd KILL the existing competition (especially if they could force the cable companies to forego the extraneous converter box)... even with their awful iOS 7 mentality. The competition is just that bad. Only techno geeks like the currently available crap from Samsung, LG, et al, and most people aren't techno geeks. Most people just want to watch stuff and not be bothered by tech BS. Long live DVD and blu-ray!
  • Reply 19 of 32
    theothergeofftheothergeoff Posts: 2,081member

    115Million homes... Assume Apple wants 25% penetration.  My guess is with the sales of AppleTV over the past 2 years, they have that penetration right now.   My guess the limiting factor is limited bandwidth and lack of content (face it, Netflix and iTMS are the only reasons for the 'average TV owner' to buy AppleTV) for those that see the value but haven't triggered.  

     

    Improving either tribute in some form to the cable companies, as they want you to pay for bandwidth and/or get compensated for loss of exclusive access to critical content (Live sports).

     

    In all, until the model inverts, (pay for individual content, instead of cable-package/channel/network subscriber bundling), Apple's only method of penetration is to get to 'one controller, one search function' for all content displayable on your TV (OTA, Cable, ITMS, and 'in-app content' searching)

  • Reply 20 of 32
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 712member

    I don't doubt that Apple is working on a completely integrated solution. A big TV with an Apple TV built in. I'm sure many people would buy such a thing. But many also enjoy the freedom and advantages of separating the TV from the external box.

     

    I just can't imagine what would draw me away from my preference to simply buy an external box like Apple TV to hook up to my favorite TV. It's the perfect trojan horse. Apple bypasses the TV and controls the features and interface and makes $ off of the content obtained from the iTunes store.

     

    I see one major disadvantage: I would imagine that someone who forked over a lot of money to purchase an expensive iTV would be more sensitive to the inevitable upgrades/better features/lower pricing that occur in the Apple universe.

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