Study: Connected TV Devices Eclipse Pay TV Set-Tops

Author: Jeff Baumgartner   Source: MultiChannel News

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About 65% of U.S. TV homes now have at least one TV connected to the Internet via a gaming console, streaming player, Blu-ray player or through an integrated link, up from 44% in 2013 and 24% in 2010, Leichtman Research Group (LRG) found in a new study.

Amid that surge, there are now more connected TV devices in the U.S. than pay TV set-top boxes, LRG said. Across all households (including those that do not have any of these devices), the mean number of connected TV devices per household is 2.1, while the mean number of pay-TV set-top boxes per household is 1.8. 

Of homes with a connected TV device, 74% have more than one device, with a mean of 3.3 per connected TV household, according to the study -- HD and Connected TVs XIII – which based its findings on a survey of 1,206 adults in the continental U.S. in homes with a TV set.

About 77% of TV sets in pay TV homes use an MVPD’s box, with a mean of 2.2 boxes per pay TV home.

Among other findings, 20% with a pay TV HD set-top said set-tops from TV companies are a waste of money, while 44% disagreed. And 42% with a pay TV HD set-top box agreed that set-top boxes from TV companies provide features that add value to the TV service, while 16% disagreed.

Also, 83% of homes with any type of connected TV device also get a pay TV service, similar to the 81% that get pay TV but have no connected TV devices. Additionally, 38% of adults with a pay TV service watch video on a connected TV device at least weekly, versus 48% among consumers who don’t have a pay TV service.

HD has pretty much blanketed the market, as 79% of TV sets in U.S. homes are hi-def, up from 34% in 2010, and just 3% in 2004.

In the 4K arena, 25% of those who have seen a 4K/Ultra HD set in use are interested in getting one, compared to 9% who have not seen one in action.

“Connected TV devices are now in nearly two-thirds of all TV households in the US, and there are actually more connected TV devices in US households than there are pay TV set-top boxes,” Bruce Leichtman, LRG’s president and principal analyst, said in a statement. “New forms of competition from Internet-delivered video via connected TVs, along with technological innovations in the pay-TV industry, are allowing consumers to choose more options for accessing and watching TV than they have ever had before."