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Study finds Internet capable HDTVs basically serve only as monitors

A leading consumer behavior research group’s recent study shows that the Internet connected HDTV is rarely used for Internet surfing.

The report comes from the NPD’s Connected Intelligence Application & Convergence report.  

And while the HDTV remains to be the main device for viewing programs in the home, its use usually goes no further than just that. And as the HDTV fails to break beyond the bounds of its basic use, more individuals are using its connection to gain access to alternative sources of video content.  

The study results from NPD present a dual picture for HDTV manufacturers.  The negative side of the data says that manufacturers are not connecting with their audience in regards to the extra features these high-end televisions provide.  The data further demonstrates that customers are using more attached devices that focus on video-centric apps, such as television apps available for the Xbox Live subscription service from Microsoft.

The good news for HDTV makers is that the TVs remain the main video screen in the home. There is also an expansion of programming by consumers with about 6 out of 10 users choosing over-the-top (OTT) services that fill in for Internet TV.  So while the HDTV is used for lots of video viewing and Internet subscriptions through services like Netflix, people are not using their HDTVs for much anything else.


The problem that NPD found was that there were just too many choices for consumers in regards to connecting their HDTV to the Internet.  15% of HDTV displays are currently connected to the Internet, but that number will just to 29% when you factor in the connected devices that provide that access.  It often times brings about confusion when you can connect to the same app but through more than one device projecting the same picture.

There are currently more than six different types of devices that can provide Internet for televisions on the market right now such as BluRay Disc players, TiVo boxes, video game consoles and so forth.  Because of this dilemma many consumers just aren't interested in exploring the extra features on their HDTV because they see it as nothing more than that, which is a really big TV with a really nice picture.

The suggestions coming from NPD says that HDTV manufacturers and retailers need to get away from any new 'bells and whistle' innovations, and stay focused more on simplifying the television.  Or in other words, just keep it a really nice TV.

NPD is a private company that serves as a global provider of consumer and retail market research solutions for all manner of markets. Their focus is in researching and providing consumer behavior with detailed point-of-sale (POS) information along with consumer and retail tracking.

Jack Taylor
Jack Taylor is an accomplished writer who works as a freelance journalist and has contributed to many award winning media agencies, which includes VRzone. Born in 1971, Taylor holds a Bachelor of Science with a focus in Journalism, graduating Magna Cum Laude. An eclectic writer, Taylor specializes in editorials, trending technologies and controversial topics such as hacktivism and government spying.

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