The combination of connected TVs and tablets puts the viewer in charge. Sit back and let the best in technology entertain you
Today’s home entertainment knows almost no limits. Connected TVs enhance viewers’ TV enjoyment by providing broadcast services as well as online services such as Hbb.TV, YouView and VuDu.
The new technologies have proved a hit with the public faster than experts could have predicted – according to market research firm DisplaySearch, more than 40 million connected TVs were shipped in 2010, with unit shipments forecasted to grow to more than 123m in 2014 worldwide.
The other new technology that is taking the world by storm is the tablet. According to research firm Gartner, 118.9m tablets will be sold worldwide in 2012 – a 98 per cent increase over 2011. And Gartner is projecting that by 2016 the sales of tablet technologies will have reached almost 370m worldwide.
With this many tablets being sold, everyone wants to know how people are using these technologies. Research has found that users are viewing web video on their tablets 30 per cent more than they used to on their computers, and most tablet owners (75 per cent) are accessing video on their tablet while at home.
There is a growing trend in content and video consumption on the devices and an increase in the amount of time people spend watching video and TV overall. According to a recent report by Forrester Research, tablets are replacing PCs and smartphones as the device of choice. It seems 85 per cent of US tablet owners use their tablet while watching TV, and according to Neilson, 30 per cent of total tablet usage is while watching TV.
In summary, the tablet is quickly becoming the second screen of choice for consumers. So what does this mean for the future of the “connected home”?
At PacketVideo, we strongly believe that future of entertainment and media is using TVs and tablets simultaneously to provide a rich, interactive and personal experience. These experiences will develop the ability to interact directly with the internet on the tablet via apps or browsers, while merging the ever growing interaction of social media. And with the growth in the availability of these types of experiences, phrases such as “augmented TV” and “social TV” will enter the language.
With the increase in availability of augmented and social TV apps and services such as ZeeBox and Yahoo’s IntoNow app, the experience of passively watching TV goes by the wayside.
With a tablet or smartphone and a TV, the app can identify what users are currently watching, even if it is the first time it has aired. These apps and services will open up a community of people to interact with who enjoy watching the same show and possibly have the same interests. They can also make recommendations for other shows users might enjoy. It’s TV that’s tailored to the viewer’s needs.
Imagine watching Arsenal playing Manchester United on your TV, while your tablet intuitively provides you with player updates and statistics. What if your tablet alerts you that Liverpool just scored and you want to beam the goal to your TV? Imagine deciding which camera you use to view the game, especially when a penalty call was made? It is the ultimate in interactivity.
These new apps can also help users discover exclusive online content developed around the shows they like to watch, or provide the ability to purchase items seen on screen during a programme. It’s all about a more interactive experience thanks to these new technologies – imagine wirelessly beaming any content (broadcast, online or personal) from a tablet to your big-screen connected TV, no wires or cables required?
The tablet is a great discovery and companion tool. It’s easy to spend hours lost in the internet as you go from one video to another as you find related items or recommended links, but why should you limit yourself to isolated enjoyment on a small, second-screen device?
New opportunities will continue to emerge, but PacketVideo has already embraced the union of TVs, tablets and smartphones devices. We’ve developed our line of Twonky products to let you beam content discovered on your phone, tablet or PC to a wide variety of devices, including Apple TV and connected TVs with DLNA capability (such as all new models by Sony, Philips and Samsung).
Discovery and enjoyment of media is no longer dependent on a single appliance. A particular operating system, broadcaster or manufacturer doesn’t even get to dictate the terms. Now, it’s driven by you and your demands, your schedule and at your leisure.