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Connected TVs Are Selling, but Often Go Unconnected

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There's good news and bad news for the connected TV industry, according to a forecast from business intelligence company Informa Telecoms & Media. For the good news, connected TVs are selling in big numbers and that trend will continue. In 2017, the forecast says, more that 220 million connected TVs will be sold worldwide. That a big leap from the 54 million that will have been sold in 2012.

By 2017, 31 percent of all homes in the world will own at least one connected TV. That rate will be much higher in North America (63 percent) and Western Europe (64 percent).

The bad news, however, is that even in five years' time, over half of those connected sets won't be connected to the internet. While people will buy connected TVs in big numbers, most will never connect them.

The analysts at Informa put the blame squarely on the connected TV itself, saying that TVs, which have long lifecycles, are the wrong types of devices to function as hubs to a digital home. Set-top boxes, game consoles, and smartphones are better suited, Informa says.

"While any ‘smart' TV bought in 2011 or 2012 can be used for streaming online video services for a few years, they lack the processing power and the necessary hardware to perform those smart TV functions that will be standard in 2015. Simply put, any smart TV purchased in 2012 will be effectively obsolete by 2015," says Andrew Ladbrook, senior analyst at Informa.

For connected sets to be useful, they have to offer advanced features such as voice control and second-screen connectivity, says Ladbrook.

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