Study: Sometimes a TV is Just a TV

By Kevin Eck 

Despite a growing trend of connecting TV sets to the internet so viewers can watch TV and surf the web, a recent study shows consumers are using their new connected TVs to do one thing, watch TV.

The study, conducted by consumer research company NPD, shows that six out of ten consumers who own a connected HDTV are watching what they call “Over the Top” video services through the TV instead of using the device to tweet, post on facebook or read books or magazines. The culprit?  Too much choice.

There are six or more types of devices bringing the Internet to HDTVs: the TV itself, video game consoles, Blu-ray Disc players, streaming media set top boxes, TiVo, and a few audio/video receivers. While 15 percent of HDTV displays are connected directly to the Internet, that number increases to 29 percent of HDTVs screens due to these other devices. This is driving the availability of around two connected eco-systems on the same TV screen, leading to a confused user-experience as consumers have more than one way of accessing their favorite TV apps.


While the news may be glum for manufacturers of internet connected TVs, the news is good for content providers like local TV stations who can remain confident people are still buying what they’re selling.

But television doesn’t appear to by disconnecting from the internet anytime soon. Recent surveys point towards what is being called “second screen viewing” where consumers are watching video on their TV sets while interacting through apps like Twitter or facebook on tablets, smart phones or computers.  Recently, Twitter partnered with Nielsen to measure the trend of social media engagement while watching TV shows.

You can view the study by clicking here.