20% of TVs shipped in Europe in 2010 to have Internet

TV and Blu-ray devices capable of accessing content directly from the Internet will start to gain ground fast, with more than 20 per cent of flat panel TVs shipped in the region next year able to connect to the Internet, according to a report from Futuresource Consulting.

"In Europe, four of the major brands have already launched connected TV products that go beyond basic home networking functionality and allow delivery of over-the-top web services," says David Watkins, Research Consultant at Futuresource. "This includes basic weather and news pages, social networking, video streaming and catch-up TV. Although initially limited to high-end and mid-range products, we’re going to see web connectivity feature on an increasing number of products next year, becoming standard within two to three years. We expect content to be the next battleground and a key driver for connection and usage, particularly through interaction with social networking sites and access to recently released movies."

By the end of 2010, the installed base of connected TVs will swell to 15 million devices, representing nearly 10 per cent of the total number of flat panel TVs in use.