20 Million Wireless Networked TVs To Ship in 2011

Monday, July 20th, 2009
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — As part of the continuing trend towards networked home entertainment, television sets will increasingly include wired or wireless connections to online content. A new study from ABI Research forecasts that in 2011, some 20 million TVs offering wireless connectivity will be shipped worldwide. This segment is expected to show linear growth through the study’s forecast horizon of 2014.

Network connectivity does already exist in high-end models, and networked TVs are already quite widespread in Japan. According to industry analyst Michael Inouye, “North America, Western Europe, and select Asian countries are seen as the next growth markets, and the 2009 holiday season and 2010 will be the watershed periods when vendors will see whether networked TV should trickle down to mainstream models and really take off there.”

Ethernet will handle the wired type of connection in most cases, but will wireless technology prevail? If it does, the most likely candidate is Wi-Fi, although it’s true that 802.11b and 802.11g may suffer some latency and interference problems. 802.11n Wi-Fi, though, should provide a fully capable connection, and its growing adoption will improve support for networked TVs.

“Many current TV models are nearly capable of being networked, at least for basic functions,” says Inouye. “Basic networking often only entails additional memory, Ethernet support at the chip level (and active port), and software – the hardware component being relatively inexpensive.”

What will consumers get with a networked TV? A wide variety of online content: news, weather, sport, material from Internet video sites, music, casual gaming, and social networking.

However, a critical factor for the success of this new kind of entertainment is the position of the owners of that content. “At the end of the day, if the content holders don’t let their content go to this platform in a timely manner, it’s just not going to get anywhere,” Inouye notes.

ABI Research’s new report, “Internet and Web-Enabled HD TVs” discusses the current issues facing the market and the drivers that will help shape it moving forward. Forecasts include: LCD/PDP unit shipments by region, home networks by region, and Wire/Wireless FPTV shipments by region.

It forms part of the Consumer Video Technologies and Home Networking Research Services.