Smart TVs Now in 38% of US Households

Leichtman Research says almost 40 percent of homes have at least one TV connected to the web.

Rachel Cericola · April 12, 2012

Manufacturers were hoping 3D would be a buzzword for potential TV buyers. Instead, another TV feature took over.

Viewers are way more interested in web connectivity, says a new study.

Leichtman Research Group (LRG) says 38 percent of all U.S. households have at least one TV connected to the web. Those numbers are up 8 percent from 2011, and 14 percent from 2010.

But viewers aren’t necessarily upgrading to a web-enabled HDTV. Only about 4 percent rely on the actual TV to get online, with video game systems taking the top spot with 28 percent. Set-top boxes, such as Roku and the Apple TV, make up another 1 percent of all households.

The LRG study also says 13 percent of adults watch web video via one of these connected devices on a weekly basis. This is up 8 percent from two years ago.

Netflix remains the popular video streaming choice, with 35 percent of Netflix subscribers getting a video fix from the service on a weekly basis. Only 5 percent of non-Netflix subscribers watch web video each week. Other highlights from the study include:

  • 16 percent of all adults use Netflix’s Watch Instantly feature weekly
  • 79 percent of Netflix Watch Instantly customers use it to watch movies and television shows on a TV set; 59 percent of this group access Netflix via a video game system
  • 50 percent of Netflix subscribers are satisfied with the service
  • 13 percent of Netflix subscribers would consider reducing spending on their multi-channel video service because of Netflix. This is down, compared to 21 percent last year
  • 9 percent of all adults watch video on an iPad/tablet computer weekly, compared to 2 percent last year

That said, LRG still sees online web content as a complement to pay-TV services, versus a substitute.

“Video is increasingly being watched on different platforms and in different places, yet these emerging video services still generally act as complements to traditional television viewing and services rather than as substitutes,” says Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “Among all adults, reported time spent watching TV is similar to last year, and there remains little evidence of a significant trend in consumers ‘cutting the cord’ to their multi-channel video services to watch video solely via these emerging services.”

  About the Author

Rachel Cericola is a longtime contributor to CE Pro. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Rachel at [email protected]

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  Article Topics

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