700,000 connected TVs in German speaking market
By Robert Briel
Published: June 24, 2010 07.06 Europe/London

“Television will change fundamentally because of connected TV sets, 3D is only a passing fad,” according to Christoph Puhl, responsible for product training at Philips Austria. One in four people buying in new TV set in Austria is getting a connected TV set.

The total of web connected TVs in Germany and Austria now numbers 700,000. This includes all kinds of connectivity, including HbbTV, as well as proprietary solutions such as Samsung’s Internet@TV and Philips Net TV.

With regards to 3D, Philips plans to equip all its top end receivers in the 8000 and 9000 series with a 3D add-on, comprising of a transmitter and active shutter glasses. The new models will become available from this autumn.

Puhl also expects big things from the ‘red button’ facility as part of the HbbTV standard, which will give broadcasters to opportunity to enhance their programming with additional content, from text pages to VOD services. “”This channel makes the marketing of own productions much easier and strengthens customer loyalty, so all broadcasters will follow this trend in the medium term.”

In related news, Germany’s GFU trade association says that the FIFA World Cup has pushed up the number of HDTV sets sold in the country significantly over the same period last year – although it’s unclear whether all the sets are currently hooked up to an HD STB.

GFU estimates that Germans will buy more than nine million HD-ready flat panel sets this year, with large, 37-inch plus screens the most important product sector. GFU says that 16.5 million TV sets will be connected to an HD-ready STB, or have an integrated HD receiver.