Global shipments of televisions that can connect to the Internet will triple over the next four years as TV makers upgrade sets and a broader range of content is made available over the Web, according to a report released today.
Manufacturers will ship more than 118 million so-called "connectable" TVs in 2014, up from about 40 million this year and from about 15 million last year, NPD Group's DisplaySearch unit said in the report. North America and Western Europe will each account for about a third of all connectable TVs in 2014, according to DisplaySearch.
"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," said Paul Gray, DisplaySearch's director of European TV research, in the statement.
While 3D TV growth rate will be faster than connectable sets, total connectable TV shipments will dwarf that of 3D TVs, which have received plenty of press, but which suffer from relatively high prices and the awkward prospect of having to wear special glasses to view them. DisplaySearch said Oct. 12 that manufacturers will ship about 90 million 3D TV units in 2014, up from about 3 million this year.
Connectable TVs will split into two categories as the medium grows. "Basic" sets will allow for services such as Vudu and Hbb.tv, while the so-called "smart" category will let users browse through search and navigation engines, DisplaySearch said.