IFA 2011 – BERLIN. PriceWaterhouseCoopers has said that five million German households will own a connected TVs at the end of the year. This year alone, three million connected sets will be sold.

“The hybrid TV brings the ease of use of television, together with the diversity of the internet” according to Werner Ballhaus, head of technology, media and telecommunications at PwC. “Online videos can be found easily in high picture quality with the remote control, while fans of TV series can get current background information from the internet on their TV screen.”

Until now, the development of interactive television has been slow, mainly due to proprietary, closed systems and low-speed processors, which acted as as a brake on the development of hybrid TV. The TV manufacturers are now responding by offering more integrated and open browsers and devices with improved hardware.

As expected, the new possibilities of hybrid televisions are currently of particular interest for the generation aged between 16 and 24, which has grown up with the internet and technological innovations, especially open standard.

According to a representative survey conducted on behalf of PwC, almost 60% of this age group would like to watchYouTube videos on their TV, and almost 13% are already doing so. At least 41% can imagine renting or buying movies and TV series on a hybrid device, with just under 6% who have already made use of this option.

Internet-enabled televisions also create attractive interfaces for social networks. A total of nearly 30% of respondents of all age groups find a function such as the “Like Button” appealing. One in three persons would like to receive recommendatons on a TV programme based on recommendations from the (virtual) friends on the TV screen.

The new possibilities of hybrid television creates positive new revenue sources, on the other hand, as they increase the competition for viewers and advertising revenue and fees further.

About one third of Germn internet users already watch online TV, using both live and time shifted TV services. According to PwC’s forecasts in the current “Global Entertainment and Media Outlook,” the proceeds from the “over-the-top services” in Germany until the year 2015 will significantly exceed €100 million.

The hybrid-TV is expected to give the advertising revenue generated via the internet TV spots a boost. While the corresponding revenue increase from 2010 to 2011 “only” increased by almost 16% to nearly €50 million, PwC predicts that the coming years until 2015, an average increase of 28.4% per year to just over €150 million.

“Hybrid TV offers new opportunities for all involved, telecommunications companies, cable operators, TV broadcasters, content producers and advertisers. But the convergence of television and the internet does not alter the fact that content is the all important factor of success, be it on TV or over the internet. So producers and traditional TV broadcasters have an advantage with hybrid TV and are ahead of the competition, but they can lose this advantage fast, if they sit and wait,” commented Werner Ballhaus.