Web TV Failing to Catch On, Study Warns Manufacturers

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Web TV is failing to catch on, according to a new study from the NPD Group, which shows that the main activity on Internet-connected viewing devices remains video.

Specifically, the report says the most popular content is over-the-top video content, in which the ISP is no more than a conduit for someone else’s video content.

“HDTVs, gaming consoles, Blu-ray Disc players, and other connected devices offer an array of applications, ranging from Twitter and Facebook to web browsing. But, in general, these have failed to resonate with the audience,” NPD Group said.

The only new form of content driving adoption of the devices, the study says, are music services such as Pandora. About 15 percent of connected TV owners use one such service.

“It’s become clear that consumers want broadband content on their TV and that it will come through an array of devices. But will this screen evolve to become a hub for applications beyond TV and video programming?” the study asked.

Users are reluctant to tap other services, such as gaming and social networking, from their TVs because they have devices better suited to those activities. They can also use the TV as a screen through which to view other types of content from their PCs and gaming consoles, leading to confused user experiences.

“OEMs and retailers need to focus less on new innovation in this space and more on simplification of the user experience and messaging if they want to drive additional, and new, behaviors on the TV,” NPD Group concludes.

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