Santa Clara, Calif - More than 27 percent of TVs shipped worldwide this year will be able to connect to a broadband network, according to a new study released Wednesday by The NPD Group's
The number of global connected TV shipments to continue to rise
by 54 percent to 155 million units by 2015, according to the Q3'11
The report adds that 16 percent of TVs shipped in Latin America in 2011 will be network-capable.
"The idea of TVs and companion screens is a powerful value proposition, both for selling smart phones and tablets that communicate with the TV, but also for mobile services to be enjoyed on the best screen," said Paul Gray, DisplaySearch TV electronics research director.
The report said new generation semiconductors used in new smart TV systems, combined with expanding digital broadcasting, is positioning the trend for "rapid innovation," in both mature and emerging markets.
"At the same time, the TV semiconductor business is struggling with the problems of hyper-competition," Gray said. "Consolidation is still playing out, including the rise of MStar Semi and Mediatek. TV manufacturers are restructuring their business models following losses in the first half of 2011."
Meanwhile, he said, new lower cost LCD panel technology using LED backlights, shifts to out-sourcing, and new set designs are being investigated.
Integration and innovation in semiconductors is powering new capabilities, with networking emerging as an important new function.
DisplaySearch's consumer research suggests that the connection rate of TVs doubles when they have a wireless networking capability.
"TV manufacturers are responding and analysis of product ranges shown at IFA Berlin revealed how far wireless is filling product ranges," Gray said. "Consumer wishes are very clear - no new wires. The incorporation of wireless allows more than just networking, with powerful ad-hoc functions such as transfer of photos and video from a smart phone to a TV using Wireless Direct, or a program guide to be navigated without interrupting viewing."
The DisplaySearch report predicts TV IC innovation will help to re-shape the TV value chain.
The latest TV ICs enable the assembly of sets from â€˜open cell' LCDs instead of buying complete LCD modules.
One of the key enabling technologies is integration of the LCD timing controller into the main TV chip. This is examined in detail in the report, Gray offered.
"IC innovation is not just about decorating sets with extra featuring, but enables set makers to slim down their manufacturing," he said.
The DisplaySearch Quarterly TV Design and Features Report is available by contacting Charles Camaroto at 1.888.436.7673 or 1.516.625.2452, or