TV browsers and applications such as widgets are hot themes at this year’s CES, but according to recent Strategy Analytics research consumers see video on demand services as the most valuable features of internet TV. The research, carried out for Oregan Networks by Strategy Analytics’ Digital Home Obervatory, also found that downloading widgets and customizing TV screens with skins were seen as the least valuable features.
In order of importance, the perceived value of various browser applications was found to be as follows:
- Access Video on Demand without a PC
- Searching the home network for video content
- Access user-generated content such as Youtube
- Play media from a USB drive
- Share television experience using messaging services
- Make video conference or voice calls via the TV
- Download widgets
- Give the TV different colour schemes or skins
The study concluded that users expect TV browsers to be video-centric and offer quality equivalent to regular television. Despite concerns about privacy, 91 per cent of respondents wanted to be able to access any multimedia website via their TV browser. 74 per cent of respondents indicated a preference for these sites to be specially adapted as TV web channels.
David Mercer, VP, Digital Consumer Practice, comments: “It’s perhaps not surprising that TV viewers want to be able to watch video and TV on the big screen. But many of today’s early web TV services are focusing too heavily on what they perceive as hot internet technologies such as widgets. Our research suggests these are a low priority for many consumers; instead developers should focus on bringing TV viewers the wealth of video content that is available on the web.”
The survey was conducted in the US in December 2008 with 500 mid- to high-tech consumers. Each respondent was given an introduction to the capabilities of TV-based browsers, including screen shots.
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