Smart TVs have only made their way into the homes slowly so far as manufacturers seek to keep the smart brand for premium TVs. They have also very often been far from smart, with many offering only the equivalent of a budget smartphone. However, this is set to change with the introduction of dual-core chips, motion control, face recognition, and tighter integration with smartphones and tablets. By 2017, Informa forecasts that there will be 836 million smart TVs in homes around the world as manufacturers increasingly offer some level of smart functionality across their TV ranges.
However, smart TVs will not have it all their own way, there are several other devices seeking to become the de facto portal to OTT video services, social TV experiences and gaming. Games consoles with their large installed base in developed markets, a household penetration in North America close to 45% by the end of 2012, and their technophile audiences currently lead the way – and, potentially, may do so for some time to come as offering a unified entertainment experience becomes a core part of this product. However, media streamers such as Roku, Apple TV and Google TV are fast catching them up and by 2017 global sales will be in excess of 50 million, an increase of 500% since 2012.
Smartphones and tablets should not be ignored either, these devices could very well become the true brains behind the smart-TV experience with the introduction of such technologies as Apple’s AirPlay and Miracast.
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