More than 123 million online connected TVs are expected to ship in 2014, according to a new study by market researcher DisplaySearch. It also found that over 20 percent of all TVs shipped last year featured Internet connections, allowing users to stream digital music and movies or run downloadable apps on demand.
Expected to grow by 30 percent compounded annually, the category is anticipated to boom in popularity over the next three years, fueled by new sets from manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic and Vizio. Popular apps including Vudu, Netflix and Pandora are already available on many models, letting you instantly beam down songs and shows. Several current and upcoming connected TVs also allow access to online news feeds, sports scores and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
The Internet’s growing importance to living room viewing and the overall primetime TV watching experience is also predicted to trickle down to emerging markets. Shipments of online connected TVs in Eastern Europe are expected to grow fourfold to 10 million in 2014, and a third of all flat-panel TVs sold in China in 2013 should have Internet capability.