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“Despite aggressive promotions from the industry and intense consumer interest generated by the blockbuster Avatar and other titles, the 3-D TV market in 2010 will be limited to a small pool of enthusiastic early adopters,” said Riddhi Patel, director and principal analyst for television systems at iSuppli. “In contrast, IETV is entering the mainstream in 2010. This is because 3-D is still dealing with a number of barriers, including cost, content availability and interoperability, while IETV provides immediate benefits by allowing TV viewers to access a range of content readily available on the Internet.”With connected TVs, Patel noted, viewers can connect to the Internet at all times by using their TV’s built-in feature, bypassing the need for a bridge device such as a set-top box, game console or Internet media adapter like Apple Inc.’s TV console. Such connectivity allows viewers to access content from a wide spectrum of providers—ranging from movie peddlers like Netflix and Amazon, to content aggregators such as Hulu, to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
At the same time, TV brands and manufacturers are working aggressively to create partnerships with the content providers in order to keep consumers interested and happy with continually updated material, Patel added.
“The arrival of Internet-enabled TV models is part of the ongoing evolution and enhancement of TV sets,” Patel said. “Because innovation is a must in order to drive consumer adoption and replacement, the TV industry has embarked on a path of enhancing the consumer experience through interaction with their TV sets.”
Among regions, North America and Western Europe will make up the largest consumption market for IETVs from 2010 to 2014. Japan will lay claim as the third largest market only until 2012, after which it will drop to fifth place, ranking behind both China and the collective area designated as Rest of Asia-Pacific—two distinct territories counted separately in the tallies.
Semiconductor Grows Because of Connected TV
From a semiconductor perspective, connected TVs will represent a strong growth opportunity for a number of component types in the TV semiconductor space, including multi-format decoders, DRAM and interface Integrated Circuits (IC), according to Randy Lawson, principal analyst, display electronics, for iSuppli.
Combined revenue from sales of these semiconductors will rise to more than $2 billion by 2014, up from just $222 million in 2009, iSuppli figures show.
The increased semiconductor content will be needed to support various complex IETV features, including network interface capability via Ethernet to link the television to the Internet—through either a wired connection or wirelessly—Bluetooth solutions for advanced remote controls and greater video graphics support.
Collectively, the new features and capabilities needed by connected TVs will provide the TV semiconductor market with a much-needed lift in the general outlook affecting the core audio-visual processing and interface IC solutions, according to iSuppli. The prospect is encouraging, given that the general trend of integration and cost-reduction pressure has slowed growth of the market in this space in recent years.
Overall, connected TVs will represent the second-best growth area for the TV semiconductor market, next only to LED backlighting.