Gaming Consoles Lead Global Connected TV Usage

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
DisplaySearch logo

Internet Connectivity Rates and Methods for Flat Panel TVs Vary by Country

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — With growing interest in streaming content, online gaming, and apps on TVs, households are increasingly finding ways to connect their TVs to the Internet. In several developed countries, game consoles have become the most popular way to make that connection.

According to the NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Smart TV Usage Study, the way TVs are connected to the Internet varies depending on where consumers live in the world. The results of surveys of households in the US, Japan, China, France, Germany, Italy, and the UK found that 27% of flat panel TVs are connected to the Internet, either directly from smart TVs or via other connected devices.

In connected flat-panel-TV households across all countries surveyed, the devices most often used to connect TVs to the Internet are Sony Playstation, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360, and other gaming consoles (19%), followed by Roku, Apple TV,PPTV Live and other media center boxes (17%). Behavior varies by country: for example, in China connected flat-panel-TV households most often connect through media center boxes (23%); while in the UK the favored connection is via gaming consoles (20%).

“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 Riddhi Patel, Research Director at NPD DisplaySearch. “As consumers become more comfortable using the connectivity features of smart TVs, and as the navigation and search capabilities on those devices become more intuitive and user friendly, we can expect to see more consumers accessing the Internet directly from smart TVs.”

Figure 1: TV to Web Connection Type
(US, Japan, China, France, Germany, Italy, and UK)

Game Console, Media Center Box, DVD/Blu-ray Player, Cable/Satellite STB, Notebook PC, Smart TV, Desktop PC, Connected TV, Others

Source: NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Smart TV Usage Study

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

“While the connected TV market is still ruled by game consoles and other external devices that connect to TVs, new options are beginning to emerge,” noted Patel. “For example, USB-based media center box options, which are replacing physical boxes, are gaining popularity in the UK and other countries, while in China, smart TV adoption is on the rise due to aggressive promotions by manufacturers.”

For more detailed information on shifts in the connected TV market, contact Charles Camaroto about the Quarterly Smart TV Usage Study at 1.888.436.7673 or 1.516.625.2452, e-mail, or contact your regional DisplaySearch office in China, Japan, Korea, or Taiwan.