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Connected TV shipments to soar  (Source: DisplaySearch)
Connected TVs set to boom

TV makers have been betting big on 3D TV with hoards of new models hitting the market this year. The TVs have sold well enough, but the mass migration to 3D TV from many consumers just hasn’t happened due to high cost, the need for glasses, and lack of 3D content at this time.

DisplaySearch claims that 3D TV has captured the interest of consumers, but the industry is beginning to turn towards connected TVs as the next big thing. DisplaySearch predicts that over 40 million connected TVs will ship in 2010. Connected TVs have internet access that allows them to access content typically only viewed on computers and mobile devices. Many connected TVs offer access to streaming content services like Netflix, YouTube and many more.

DisplaySearch estimates that by 2014, 118 million connected TVs will ship each year. The shipment of connected TVs will increase as new service offerings come online like Hbb.tv and YouView.

“It’s an exciting time for the connected TV sector,” said Paul Gray, DisplaySearch Director of European TV Research. “It’s a battleground where TV set makers, internet video companies, free-to-air broadcasters, pay-TV and the IT industry are all rushing to stake their claims. IPTV is moving from being a technology to becoming recognizable service offerings.”

DisplaySearch expects to see the connected TV market split with basic connected sets offering services like Hbb.tv, YouView, and VuDu. A higher-end smart TV segment will offer configurable apps, search capabilities, and navigation engines. These sets are likely to be offerings like the new Google TV service.

Gray also stated, "It has been a long, challenging journey so far, especially with new competitors like Google TV joining the battle. Set makers will have to acquire new skills such as negotiating content deals in order to succeed. I think most of the TV supply chain senses that this is a seismic shift in the usage of TV that will be far more significant than 3D, which will not alter TV function or usage patterns."



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internet TV > 3D
By kattanna on 10/18/2010 2:53:42 PM , Rating: 5
3D tv is really so far a gimmicky thing. things that POP out at you, yet in no way really add to the underlying story or plot.

internet connected TV's on the other hand have the potential, if fully realized, to shift viewing away from your satellite/cable providers and what they choose to offer, to a network independent viewing solution where the end user is truly in control of "whats on". so expect the big networks to not support it or even fight it initially. they simply make too much money off the old way of doing things to even attempt to try new ways.

but once we get past that, it may take a good 10 years i feel, it will open the doors to all sorts of new and imaginative, hopefully!, programming because some small outfit can make a show and host it without having to endure the studios and their locked in distribution deals.




RE: internet TV > 3D
By sprockkets on 10/18/2010 3:09:56 PM , Rating: 2
Biggest advantage I'm looking forward to is the end of arbitrarily fitting tv into time slots. No more time editing BS.

Going overtime? No problem. Multiple audio feeds for each audience? No problem.

Of course, expect them to take advantage of this and prohibit recording of any sort as well.


RE: internet TV > 3D
By quiksilvr on 10/18/2010 4:51:00 PM , Rating: 3
Is there really any point in recording, though? I don't record YouTube or Megaupload or anything like that because it's there online when I need it.

That's the beauty of internet streams. They are streaming. And you can choose to when you want to stream them.

I am hoping beyond hope that Netflix makes a major push and put all of its physical format DVDs/Blu Rays on their streaming service soon. It saves them money, it saves us time and everyone wins.


RE: internet TV > 3D
By bitterman0 on 10/18/2010 5:06:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I am hoping beyond hope that Netflix makes a major push and put all of its physical format DVDs/Blu Rays on their streaming service soon.


Neither DVD nor BD container are suitable for streaming as-is. To add insult to the injury, neither one is really usable in low-bandwidth/high-latency environments, even if granted direct access to the image.

But I see your point and second that increasing video quality _should_ be Netflix' number one priority. Putting pressure on Microsoft to implement hardware decoding acceleration of video streams in Silverlight _should_ be Netflix' number one priority. Putting pressure on Microsoft to improve the abomination they call "Media Center Netflix Client" _should_ be Netflix' number one priority. Designing a usable API with less arbitrary restrictions _should_ be Netflix' number one priority... But at the same time I doubt that any of that will happen any time soon. Unless a serious competitor emerges and forces Netflix to improve and innovate.


RE: internet TV > 3D
By therealnickdanger on 10/19/2010 10:43:24 AM , Rating: 2
Here's an idea for TV makers: just make the highest quality display you can and give it a single HDMI input. I'll take care of the rest...


RE: internet TV > 3D
By sprockkets on 10/18/2010 7:21:44 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, there is a small but necessary point to record, at least for me. Stuff goes away, or isn't hosted anymore. I want to be able to keep it when that happens.

Of course, the way I watch The Daily Show is via a torrent: It's biggest advantage is avoiding Apple commercials.


RE: internet TV > 3D
By quiksilvr on 10/19/2010 12:51:44 PM , Rating: 2
But that's more for unofficial or "illegal" things like clips from television shows and movies and whatnot.

I wish for a day when you can pay a small monthly fee and get the official shows whenever you want without having to worry about whether or not its going to be there tomorrow.

Either way, there are many extensions out there that can be used to download online flash videos.


RE: internet TV > 3D
By Jalek on 10/20/2010 9:39:00 PM , Rating: 2
There are times when such things aren't illegal, but how can you get a clip for editorial or other fair use purposes when everything's locked down without using an illegal device? Shows like Tosh.0 without clips would just be a guy talking, "did you see.."

Saving for archiving is ignored anymore, since they'd prefer you purchase the season on DVD, which in an ideal situation, is higher quality and without the obnoxious network tags and on-screen ads blocking captions anyway.


RE: internet TV > 3D
By theapparition on 10/19/2010 12:44:35 PM , Rating: 2
What happens when that stream isn't there anymore? Or more importantly, what happens when you are dependent on YouTube streaming and now it becomes a paid service? And with Google, that "paid" service may be in the form of handing over all your information and viewing habbits to be bombarded by marketing offers.

It's already happened a bit with Hulu.

There's just something about having a physical personal recording.


RE: internet TV > 3D
By tastyratz on 10/18/2010 5:11:07 PM , Rating: 2
Here is a disadvantage to those of us with dvr services.
The beginning of commercials again. Right now we can fast forward past recorded feeds but digital push migration could trend as flash streaming media has - advertisements you have no choice but to sit through. Good for stations in that respect

I certainly would like the choose and download approach to television however. They could easily get around time restrictions by allowing downloads to start at a certain time or only offer for a certain time period, etc.


RE: internet TV > 3D
By Spivonious on 10/18/2010 3:11:32 PM , Rating: 2
Just hook up a PC to your current TV and you get much more than the web-enabled TVs offer. Most major networks give free access to full episodes of their prime time TV shows on their websites, usually the day after they air.


RE: internet TV > 3D
By amanojaku on 10/18/2010 3:45:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
3D tv is really so far a gimmicky thing.
3D TV will be the biggest thing since porn.
quote:
things that POP out at you, yet in no way really add to the underlying story or plot.
I rest my case.


RE: internet TV > 3D
By kattanna on 10/19/2010 10:45:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
3D TV will be the biggest thing since porn.


in all seriousness, since the porn industry has not picked up and ran with 3D i simply dont see it being widely adopted.

i have said it before and i will say it again, the day we see porn in mass in 3D, is the day 3D will become mainstream. until then, not so much.

porn, whether you like it or not, has driven a great many things to mainstream.


RE: internet TV > 3D
By Nutzo on 10/18/2010 11:56:49 PM , Rating: 2
Between the DRM limitations, the poor software and limited bandwidth ar prime time, I wouldn't count on it.

Streaming:
Most the time I try to watch Netflix on Friday/Saturday evenings, I get way to many interuptions and pauses. It's not my local bandwidth, as I can go and download something during the same time and see 7-8mbit transfer speed.
On the built in ethernet on the TV, Netflix will drop the connection many times instead of pausing like a computer.

Software:
My TV has an ethernet port, but the DNLA only supports Mpeg2. I have several 720/1080p Mpeg videos, and Media center (windows 7) will automatically transcode them, yet the quality is unwatchable due to an output bandwidth limit in Media center. A third part streaming app (PS3) has no problem streaming/transcoding video at full 1080p.

Until the content provider stop being so greedy/paranoid I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for real conectivity.


RE: internet TV > 3D
By RivuxGamma on 10/19/2010 4:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
3D is just fluff. Has anyone ever looked at something that isn't in the center of the screen? I have. I found that there are plenty of 3D objects on the screen that are actually out of focus and there's no way to actually focus on them. I find that sort of thing annoying.

IPTV, though. That is another story. Lots of potential.


It's not a tuner
By Suntan on 10/18/2010 3:28:49 PM , Rating: 5
Has anyone ever had to use a “Factory Recovery Disc” to help get a friend/relative’s PC back in working order?

Ever notice all those links and sample programs that get loaded onto that 5 or 6 year old computer? Notice how 95% of them are no longer in business...

...Now imagine how useful it will be to have a proprietary “TV web-service” interface on your 7 or 8 year old TV when those proprietary interfaces have been trying to connect to servers that went out of business 4 or 5 years ago.

Or has anyone ever noticed how well that all-in-one HTIB (with DVD player) works for running these “new” BR discs?

Personally, I pick a *display* based on its qualities of, you know, displaying video. I’ll pick the content boxes that I connect to it separately thank you.

-Suntan




RE: It's not a tuner
By Denigrate on 10/18/2010 3:38:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, because Netflix, Pandora, Youtube, and the other major players that are getting built in aps on these TV's are going away sometime soon.


RE: It's not a tuner
By bitterman0 on 10/18/2010 4:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
Notwithstanding longevity claims of the said services, who says that these services should or will continue providing the same control/streaming APIs for any length of time? Remember, Netflix switched from actual video streams that could have been played in your run-of-the-mill media players to Silverlight client which not only made quite a few people unhappy, but also invalidated any prior streaming APIs in use. Furthermore, even less drastic changes (like introduction of "high definition" streams) is likely to prompt mandatory TV firmware upgrades. The point I'm trying to make here is that this kind of stuff does not belong in a firmware of a TV.

A completely separate issue is the "connected TV" connectivity. Most of the units are shipping with Wi-Fi connectivity only, which makes playback of any respectable HD content quite impossible (even with 802.11n). Surely, the bandwidth is there - BR defines the _maximum_ bitrate for both video and audio at 48Mbps - which is dwarfed by 802.11n specs - but for whatever reason the content is not playable over the wireless connections without stuttering.

Yet another issue is the utter lack of high video quality (not even high definition!) online content that could be streamed onto your TV (or PC alike). The best I've seen from certain local broadcasting stations is 500kbps, which is not something to write home about. Netflix' instant watch streams are clearly over-compressed; "HD streams" are a bit better, but lack hardware decoding acceleration. Other services, perhaps, fare a bit better (now that Flash 10.1 supports hardware decoding acceleration), but more often than not suffer from over-compression to save bandwidth. Seriously, though, when compared to the regular over-the-air broadcast signal that averages 15Mbps (different broadcasters offer different presets ranging from 12Mbps to 18Mbps), there's no contest, really. I'd say about 2Mbps is a bare minimum for a DVD-dimensions DivX or Xvid compressed stream of acceptable quality, and anywhere upwards from 8Mbps for 1080p compressed with H.264. The good news is that your uplink to ISP is probably enough to accommodate at least one stream at a time without a problem. The bad news is that the content provider not only doesn't have the content in the quality you'd like to watch, but also is not set up to use this much bandwidth. Perhaps, in a few years there will be decent quality content out there, but for now the whole online video streaming industry is in its infancy stages.


RE: It's not a tuner
By jimbojimbo on 10/18/2010 5:54:04 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think his point was necessarily that Netflix is going away but that the way they stream their content will change. Will that TV be able to keep up?

I find the quality of streamed content to be way too crappy at this stage and if a movie is out there in surround why would you watch it in stereo? Rent the BluRay and really enjoy it!


RE: It's not a tuner
By foolsgambit11 on 10/19/2010 3:54:32 PM , Rating: 2
So what? If the TV can't keep up, you go back to hooking your PC up to the TV to watch Netflix. In the meantime, it's a convenient feature that I'm sure some people will like and use, no harm no foul (assuming these programs only load when you select them, and aren't taking up resources the rest of the time).


RE: It's not a tuner
By snyper256 on 10/18/2010 3:41:00 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly! I'm not going to waste my money to get a bunch of nonsense that I'll never use anyway.

Connecting a PC to a TV gives everything you could ever want from it. For less money.. it's a winning situation ;)


RE: It's not a tuner
By dark matter on 10/18/2010 4:14:24 PM , Rating: 3
So, you're going to have web enabled TV connected to the web and never once update it after 8 years?

Interesting...


RE: It's not a tuner
By jimbojimbo on 10/18/2010 5:51:24 PM , Rating: 2
Can you guarantee that the same hardware will be capable of streaming the content of 8 years from now? While everyone is streaming HD content in full surround to their TVs from their consoles you'll be stuck watching in SD in stereo. Great. Odds are you'll wind up getting a console that'll do more in a couple of years. Good thing you paid more for that TV.

My only complaint is the high end TVs all seem to come with software to stream from various sites so you can't really avoid it. They'll count it as another plug-in TV sale whether you use that feature or not.


RE: It's not a tuner
By bitterman0 on 10/18/2010 5:07:53 PM , Rating: 3
Inexplicably, AOL is *still* in business, though...


What is conencted?
By Cr0nJ0b on 10/18/2010 3:28:10 PM , Rating: 2
I generally just gloss over errors...I just don't care that much to make a big deal about them. Grammar...whatever...as long as I can get the general point...I'm ok.

But it's the title...

Now google with cache this word for all the world to see for months...

all I can say is "wow".




RE: What is conencted?
By Mitch101 on 10/18/2010 3:31:10 PM , Rating: 4
The puzzles are my favorite part.


Hmm
By triadone on 10/18/2010 11:09:49 PM , Rating: 3
I think they might have missed something. In all this talk about streaming and connected TVs, they forgot to mention the possibility that the connected status of TVs could streamline (no pun intended) the delivery of 3D content to users that might otherwise not want to buy a 3D Blu-Ray, for example. Basically, the connectedness could actually facilitate the spread and facilitate the potential predominance of 3D tech that would otherwise move much more slowly with hard media (discs, etc.).




Money makers
By Dr of crap on 10/19/2010 8:44:09 AM , Rating: 2
So there must be a processor installed in the TVs for the internet ability.
And with the average life a TV about 10 year or more, now they'll have to shorten that life because the processor will become out dated, just like in a PC.
More money for the TV makers and more trash from the consumer as they go for the better processor in their TVs.
Great idea.

How about using your laptop (any PC) for the internet, and the TV as the display?
Man I had to think hard to come up with that!
But you know the average consumer is to stupid to be able to get their PC hooked up to thier TV!




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