As it strives to meet the rapidly changing demands of the TV user base, the global online TV market is forecast to reach $81.2 billion by the year 2017 according to new research from Companiesandmarkets.

The analyst believes that there will be a number of key drivers for this surge, mainly the growing need for running widgets through TV, greater clarity and resolution and wider spectrum of virtually unlimited channels and entertainment options.

What Companiesandmarkets calls "Internetization" of increasingly large number of consumer electronic devices including DVD players, TVs, iPods, portable gadgets, tablets, and game consoles, the dependency of computers to use Internet TV will likely fall. Such a dynamic will prop up the market for Internet-enabled TVs across the globe whose mainstream consumer acceptance will allow access to a wide range of online content.

It adds that advancements in multimedia technology in the near future will result in increased convergence of diverse technology platforms, networks, content and devices to remain competition and meet dynamic consumer needs.

On the global front, the analyst sees Asia-Pacific as ‘trail blazing’ at the highest compounded annual growth rate of a robust 59% through 2017. Yet in terms of revenues, the US and Europe will, not surprisingly be at the vanguard of the online TV boom, with Europe drawing strength from traditional online TV and IPTV power house France in addition to Germany and the UK, with solid contributions likely from Russia Italy, Spain and other Eastern European markets.

Looking forward, Companiesandmarkets says that merging together hardware, software and multimedia content will form major differentiating strategies for the vendors. It predicts that as more consumers discard their traditional TV sets and endorsing the idea of viewing the video content online, online TV will become part of the mass market.