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Connected TVs snatch online video viewing crown from PCs

Big screen viewing preferred

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More people watch internet-sourced video on their TVs than their PCs - at least in the US. Another sign, maybe, that the PC is losing its place at the centre of consumers' digital lives, at least for video entertainment.

According to NPD, a North American market watcher, during the past 12 months the proportion of folk watching paid and free video streams on a telly has risen to 45 per cent, up from 33 per cent in the same period last year. PC usage for the video viewing dropped from 48 per cent to 31 per cent in the same timeframe.

You'd expect punters to want to watch video, whatever its source, on a TV - bigger screens and all that - but it's telling that they're now sufficiently tech'd up to be able to do so - and the image quality of the content is good enough for TV viewing. More internet-connectable tellies - aka smart TVs - are on the market, and more of them have access to a broad array of popular content services.

NPD reckons some 12 per cent of the TVs in US homes during Q2 were net-connectable, which amounts to some 29 million sets.

Set-top boxes like Apple's Apple TV and WD's WD TV are very popular too, as are games consoles. Both types of gadget can be used to view web-sourced video on a TV rather than a PC, the set-top especially so. But NPD found that as consumers acquire connected TVs, they tend to leave other gadgets behind. It said nearly one in five connected TV installations resulted in consumers no longer using such devices for video.

NPD said it has found that 43 per cent of connected TV users accessed online entertainment directly from their TVs. Netflix is the dominant application for IPTV. Of those viewing online video on the TV, 40 per cent use their connected TVs to stream video via Netflix, 12 per cent access HuluPlus, and four per cent connect to Vudu. ®

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