Connected TVs edged out Blu-ray Disc players to become the third most prominently owned device that delivers apps to TVs in the US.

According to The NPD Group Connected Intelligence Connected Home Report, as of the fourth quarter of 2014 there were 22 million connected TVs installed and accessing the Internet, a significant increase from 13 million one year ago. Ownership of Internet connected TVs is now more common than Internet connected Blu-ray Disc players, of which US consumers own 20 million. Video game consoles and streaming media players, however, are still the most used TV app platforms and rank number one and number two respectively.

connectedTVs and BD players

Consumers transition from disc to digital is impacting adoption of Blu-ray Disc players and along with it their value as a digital distribution platform. This shift in ranking makes TVs a more popular digital distribution platform than Blu-ray Disc Players, although often these devices are built by the same company.

The proliferation of connected TVs will be positive for viewers and digital content distributors alike as access to streaming programming will reach more homes and more of the TVs in each home. By 2017, there will be 47 million connected TVs within 30 million US internet homes delivering content through apps, according to the Connected Intelligence Connected Home Forecast Report.

Increased sales, connectivity, and usage trends led the TV to become a more prominent connected device ahead of forecast.

“Going forward the key to success for connected TV and attached content device manufacturers will be the availability of apps from top TV networks,” said John Buffone, executive director, Connected Intelligence.

“This aspect of the app marketplace will become even more critical during 2015 as HBO and Showtime follow CBS and become available without a cable or satellite pay TV subscription.”

More than 5,000 U.S. consumers, age 18 and older were surveyed through the fourth quarter of 2014. The number of installed and internet connected devices includes those that deliver broadband applications and must actually be connected to the Internet. Connected TV and streaming media player ownership survey results were calibrated to life-to-date unit sales from the NPD Retail Tracking Service.