Consumers Using Smart TVs for Watching, Not Facebook

John Buffone, Director of Devices at the NPD Connected Intelligence group, said that consumers who purchase Smart TVs typically only use them to watch TV instead of connecting with friends on Facebook, tweeting the latest gossip on Twitter, surfing the internet and more.

According to Buffone, the Internet-connected TV has failed to break beyond "the bounds of its TV-centric heritage". Yet the connected TV has opened to doors to alternative sources of video content like Netflix, Hulu Plus and more premium services. In fact, six out of ten consumers who own an Internet-connected TV uses these Over-the-Top (OTT) video services directly on the device.

"The decision is not for want of application choice, but rather seems to be focused on how consumers are used to interacting with their TV," he said. "The one saving grace to-date has been music services, where the location of the TV and the availability of key music streaming apps such as Pandora has driven reasonable consumer uptake (roughly 15-percent)."

Even gaming consoles, Blu-ray Disc players, and other connected devices that offer an "array" of applications are failing to resonate with the Twitter and Facebook audience. That's because there are better platforms for socializing and web browsing including tablets, smartphones and laptops, he said.

Buffone pointed out that TV manufacturers are failing to bring the platform into the next stage of its evolution despite the Internet connectivity and apps. To make things worse, connected devices like the Xbox 360 are focusing on TV and video-centric apps – Microsoft's own console will receive more than 40 additional television apps in the near future – making it difficult for Smart TV OEMS to provide a unique product.

"The challenge may be that too much choice is creating a complex user experience," he said. "There are six or more types of devices bringing the Internet to HDTVs: the TV itself, video game consoles, Blu-ray Disc players, streaming media set top boxes, TiVo, and a few audio/video receivers. While 15-percent of HDTV displays are connected directly to the Internet, that number increases to 29-percent of HDTVs screens due to these other devices."

He points out that this multi-device setup is creating an average of two connected eco-systems on the same TV screen. This is leading to a "confused user-experience" because consumers have more than one way to access their favorite TV apps. As an example, a console gamer may have both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, yet may rely on the PS3 to watch Netflix because the consumer doesn't want to pay an additional monthly fee to watch the same Netflix content on the Xbox 360 (aka Netflix + Xbox Live).

"An added wrinkle comes from the nascent trend towards 'content throwing,' allowing programming to be transferred from the smartphone or tablet to the big screen," he said. "This is yet another challenge to the uniqueness of any one TV OEM’s device offering, especially as the throwing technology may also be driven by peripheral devices such as the Xbox."

To read the full report, head here.

 

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    Top Comments
  • back_by_demand
    sacreI rarely watch TV anymore. Sick of the commercials, I don't want to be forced to watch 2-3 minutes of crap to get back to my show. So thankfully I can watch movies on demand at a click of a button, same with TV shows, everything. Its a glorious thing.

    42 minutes of TV show
    18 minutes of commercials
    every hour
    thank god for torrented TV shows where some bright spark has de-commercialised every episode
    by the way seeing as I pay for cable TV already you can stick your anti-piracy ourage up your ass
    20
  • sacre
    I rarely watch TV anymore. Sick of the commercials, I don't want to be forced to watch 2-3 minutes of crap to get back to my show.

    So thankfully I can watch movies on demand at a click of a button, same with TV shows, everything. Its a glorious thing.
    19
  • mgolus
    back_by_demandMovies can get streamed in 1080p, you just need to let it buffer a bit before playing if your don't have really fast internet, or if you mean you can't download at all then get the internet, it's really cool and they have loads of videos of cute cats


    The video may technically be the same resolution, but the high compression used on streaming video makes for a noticeably worse picture quality than Blu-Ray. Not to mention that even though some of the streaming services offer Dolby 5.1 surround (often at a lower bit-rate than on DVD), none currently offer Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD. And yes, if you have a decent surround sound system, it is quite easy to tell the difference there as well.

    Don't get me wrong, streaming is great. It's awesome to have a wealth of content at the click of a button. But, for any of my favorite movies, I much prefer to own and watch them on a Blu-Ray disc to enjoy the higher quality video and audio.
    12
  • Other Comments
  • sacre
    I rarely watch TV anymore. Sick of the commercials, I don't want to be forced to watch 2-3 minutes of crap to get back to my show.

    So thankfully I can watch movies on demand at a click of a button, same with TV shows, everything. Its a glorious thing.
    19
  • back_by_demand
    sacreI rarely watch TV anymore. Sick of the commercials, I don't want to be forced to watch 2-3 minutes of crap to get back to my show. So thankfully I can watch movies on demand at a click of a button, same with TV shows, everything. Its a glorious thing.

    42 minutes of TV show
    18 minutes of commercials
    every hour
    thank god for torrented TV shows where some bright spark has de-commercialised every episode
    by the way seeing as I pay for cable TV already you can stick your anti-piracy ourage up your ass
    20
  • Parsian
    Now I can only give up Blu Ray if they can match the quality for downloadable movies. I cant current downloadable/stream services.
    4