Television shows are streamed onto the internet and mobile devices, and soon the internet will be connected to television sets, enhancing the viewing experience, according to a new report by NPD In-Stat which has analyzed developments in digital entertainment.
The research firm forecasts that 100 million televisions in the US and Western Europe will have access to the internet by 2016 with new hybrid TVs that can display interactive content from the web.
Since 60 percent of people watching television also have a smartphone, laptop or tablet in their hands, TV viewers' attention competes with email, web surfing and texting, per Nielsen's consumer usage reports. The television of the future will combine these technologies, streamlining the ‘device-cluttered world' to keep audiences engaged with the television screen.
This is especially applicable for competition shows that require voting and sports programs conducive to interaction. The new hybrid televisions will combine with secondary screens.
In Europe, the Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) is a connected television set that NPD In-Stat predicts will begin to dominate by 2013 and then head to North America.
In May, French television will use the hybrid technology during the French Open. Tennis fans will push a button on the remote control to show interactive screens to display scores of other matches, bios of players, news, photos and Twitter streams.
Currently only 12 million households in the US have televisions connected to the internet, though about 25 million sets have the capability.
Companies working on hybrid services include Rovi, Arris, NDS, Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Systems, Motorola, TiVO, and Jinni Media, Ltd.