After PCs and mobile devices, TV will be the next consumer appliance to be connected to the web. According to research firm Park Associates, around 76 percent of all HDTVs will be connected to the internet by 2015, up from 25 percent HDTVs that are currently wired to the net.
Such pervasive TV connectivity with the information super highway will usher a host of new services such as online gaming and video on demand services, and purchase of digital media content directly from HDTVs. Park Associates believe that transactions from these services will be worth more than $8 billion by 2015.
Hardware vendors and online services have started to position themselves for this new market. TV vendors like Samsung and Sony have started delivering video on demand ala Netflix style, however their offerings are still limited to US and European markets. In addition to this, web services like Youtube, Facebook, and Skype etc are already video and voice on demand ready.
Most key TV brands like LG, Hitachi, Panasonic etc have already rolled out web connected flat screens panels, with only Sharp and Toshiba to still join the party.
Google with its Google TV and Apple with Apple TV have already put a foot in the door in this consumer segment. Both Google and Apple’s offerings allow users to directly download movies, TV shows, songs, photos and youtube videos onto their devices. Although Apple and Google are unable to pull an iPhone or Android, we still expect them to get their act together and have a more profound TV presence in the near future.
Last but not least, these TVs will not just be web connected, but will enable users to socially connect with their friends and families. Here are the 5 social TV apps that allows users to share recommendations with friends and discover new content.