A new report from DisplaySearch research indicates a bright future for connected TV manufacturers.
According to the DisplaySearch Q2 '11 Quarterly TV Design and Features Report , more than 25 per cent of flat-panel TVs shipped this year will feature some form of internet connectivity. By 2015, that number will grow to 138 million units - around 47 percent of the flat-panel market - with a total of 500 million units sold.
North America, Western Europe and China will be the highest consumers of connected TVs, but the report shows growth in every region except Japan. Beyond 2015, growth will be driven by the Indian government's decision to switch from analog to DVB-T2 digital broadcasting.
"The adoption of connected TV is not just taking place in developed regions" said Paul Gray, DisplaySearch Director of TV Electronics Research. "Emerging markets often have good broadband services, and there is a thirst from consumers to get the best content available."
Of the 138 million units shipped in 2015, more than 98 million will have 802.11 wireless networking built-in, which will allow networking with other connected devices in the home.
"WiFi technologies are the foundation of smart TVs," added Gray. "We expect that in 2015, 35% of 46 inch or larger TVs in North America will be smart TVs, defined as having the following capabilities: able to retrieve content from the internet without the restrictions of a portal; intelligent search and recommendations; upgradeable by its owner; and able to network seamlessly with other devices in the home."
The report's findings will be gladly received by streaming services like Onlive, which regard integration into smart TVs as an essential compenent of their future strategy.