Internet protocol televisions (IP-TVs) will sweep the world over the next few years as people switch from overpriced satellite and cable service to low-cost alternatives on the Internet, such as Hulu and Netflix. Instead of buying a set-top box to make the connection to the Internet, an increasing number of TVs will come with an Ethernet port or WiFi built-in. Look for IP-TVs to overtake traditional televisions, as prices drop, achieving parity within five years. R.C.J.
ABI Research forecasts that by 2011, over 20 million IP-TVs will include Internet connectivity, a trend that will enjoy linear growth through 2014. Networked TVs are already widespread in Japan with North America, Western Europe, and select Asian countries as the next growth markets, according to ABI. The 2009 holiday season will be the watershed when IP-TVs could begin trickling down from high-end models to the mainstream. Online content is also growing, with news, weather and sports complementing Internet video sites like YouTube. Also music, gaming, and social networking will drive IP-TV adoption, according to ABI in a new report, “Internet and Web-Enabled HD TVs.”