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IPTV advantages 'undersold' says report

by Sarah Griffiths on 5 January 2011, 10:26

Tags: Toshiba (TYO:6502), NPD Market Research

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Sales of internet-connected TVs are increasing but most people snapping up the new television technology don't know how to use all the features and manufacturers are under-selling the benefits, according to a new report.

Astoundingly, less than half of people with an internet-connected telly use it to surf the web, said the NPD Group's Connected TV Owner Study.

Furthermore, while manufacturers are pushing 3D TV sets hard, the report found that they are under-selling the advantages of IPTVs.

Ross Rubin, exec director of The NPD Group, said:"Broadband features unlock worlds of on-demand content; manufacturers should provide the key by integrating Wi-Fi."

Of IPTV owners, around 57 percent use it to access Netflix and 47 percent for watching YouTube videos. The survey also found that some consumers are taking advantage of the ability to access other networks in their homes, with more than half of IPTV owners accessing video, music or photos via their shiny news sets.

Of those people that actually use their IPTVs to view online content, the report found that 57 percent of people are ‘very satisfied with the TV's internet features'.

While Google TV has arguably come unstuck with major US TV networks refusing to let owners of the set top box get access to their websites and programmes, the next biggest challenge is for TV manufacturers to make an unintimidating interface to make web browsing easy.

Rubin said: "Video services are leading the way on connected TV usage. These include the ubiquitous Netflix and the rapidly expanding presence of Hulu Plus. But NPD research indicates that manufacturers have an opportunity not only to provide more content choices, but inventive ways to navigate them."