CES 2013: HDTV users get smarter, use more 3D says CEA
Joseph O'Halloran | 04-01-2013

Just before the curtain rises on its flagship CE exhibition, the US Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has revealed that TV users are driving increasing value from their products, in particular in smart TV and even 3D.

Overall, according to the Beyond 2D Viewing: Understanding the Demand for Advanced Television Features study, it’s an increasingly smart TV universe. The data showed that approximately a third of US consumers plans to purchase a new HDTV within the next 12 months and of those who already own one, more than a fifth have a smart app-enabled HDTV, with as many as 90% using the apps available on their displays in some capacity.

The study also showed that more than two-fifths of HDTV owners connect their primary displays to the Internet, with three-quarters connecting at least one external device with connected TV app capabilities to their primary displays. Moreover, just over three-fifths (61%) of smart app users were found to be most likely to stream video content from the Internet, just over half (56% and 56% respectively) browse the Internet and view pictures using smart apps on their televisions.

Furthermore, half of all HDTV owners connect a video game console or a DVD/Blu-ray player to their primary displays.

When it came to desirable features in purchasing a new HDTV, connectivity through built-in Wi-Fi and Internet browsing came only second to high quality audio and video. In terms of other popular features, despite being a relative failure to date, 3D was becoming more recognised by purchasers and, rather surprisingly, the study found that 21% of US homes owned at least one 3D-enabled television.

The CEA believes that unit sales of 3D televisions will reach an estimated 5.6 million in 2012, representing 18% of total TV sales, up from 8% in 2011. Just over two-fifths of 3D-capable HDTV owners watch five or more hours of 3D content a week. By comparison, three-quarters of 3DTV owners watched more than five hours of 2D content on their 3DTV a week.

Second screen usage was also growing strongly, with social networking the most common activity on the second screen. Among HDTV owners who also own a tablet, two-thirds used them for social networking while watching TV and among HDTV owners who also own a smartphone, nearly three-fifths (58%) used a social network on that device while watching TV.

“We are living in an app-dominated world, whether it’s on your smartphone, tablet or television,” commented Kevin Tillmann, senior research analyst at CEA. “Consumers want access to their apps at all times and they will use whatever device, TVs included, that offer the best and most convenient user experience … Consumer interest in 3DTV and 3D content continues to grow as ownership rates increase. Continuing to expand and innovate with 3D content will be extremely important for future usage and will continue to drive sales.”