Half Of US Ready For Internet Television

Dec 31st, 2007 | By | Category: Digital Video Downloads, Internet TV, Streaming Video, Video

More than 50 percent of U.S. households now own a digital television (DTV), according to new research released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). As the nation transitions to digital television, consumers are adding DTV to their homes at a record pace.

“With 50 percent of U.S. homes able to experience the reality of digital television, we have crossed a critical threshold,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. “2008 will continue to demonstrate the growth and success of DTV, with nearly 32 million units forecasted to ship. Consumers are particularly keen to add HDTV to their homes, with high definition expected to account for 79 percent of total DTV shipments in the U.S in 2008.”

With the huge interest in Internet video and the adoption of digital TVs, there’s a growing need for a way to combine the two into a high-definition Internet video platform.

2007 offered a lot of first steps, but nothing that’s polished enough to capture broad interest. Apple TV is easy to use and is a great way to watch video podcasts, but it’s conceptually confusing to a lot of people and doesn’t support DVDs. The XBox 360 supports HD video downloads, but the feature seems to be more of an afterthough at this point. Podcast pioneer Dave Winer’s FlickrFan offers an open platform for getting HD photos to your TV, but is more promising in concept than delivery.

Of the options currently available, Apple TV shows the most promise. Compared to Apple’s other recent introductions, though, Apple TV has been a bomb. There are rumors that Apple is cutting new content deals for Internet video downloads. This will help, but not enough to make Apple TV a hit.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously described Apple TV as a “hobby.” Apple is well-positioned to take advantage of the need for an HD Internet television, but they will need to treat Apple TV as a product, instead of a hobby, if they want to see it succeed.

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