Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 28-09-2011

Despite the predictions by many of a huge shift to a brave new world of over the top (OTT) video running over a plethora of devices, the TV will retain its prominence for some time to come.

A new survey by IMS Research has revealed that it is the uptake of connected TVs that is really at the heart of OTT uptake. Furthermore it says that as consumers gradually connect TVs to the Internet over time, connected TVs will likely become not only the most popular OTT device, but also the most used.

The analyst adds that OTT video functionality will become standard in progressively more affordable TVs, making sure that the connected TV installed base will inherently continue to grow regardless of whether consumers are specifically seeking OTT capabilities or not.

In detail, IMS expects yearly shipments of connected TVs to reach 180 million units worldwide in 2016, and for yearly shipments of connected TVs to begin outstripping shipments of all other consumer OTT video devices combined by 2015.

Despite the fact that devices such as game consoles may have higher rates of connection to the Internet in the present day, IMS suggests that a faster-growing installed base and rising consumer OTT awareness are expected to quickly propel connected TVs ahead of game consoles in OTT usage within the next few years. In fact IMS predicts that the worldwide installed base of connected TVs is already expected to surpass that of high definition game consoles by the end of this year.

“Televisions, despite their higher price point compared to Blu-ray Disc players and game consoles, tend to be more mainstream devices that are purchased in greater numbers and are more universally present in a larger number of households worldwide,” according to Paul Erickson, Senior Analyst at IMS Research.

“As broadband penetration increases worldwide and OTT functionality becomes commonplace in all but the lowest-end TVs within the next two years, it sets the stage for connected TVs to be the most globally-significant OTT video device over time. Pay-TV operators, application developers, content providers, and OTT service providers such as Netflix should all strategically be planning for a future where the most common OTT video device is the television.”