After more than a dozen years of failing to live up to its promise, web access on the television is finally ready for prime time, with retail sales of Internet-Enabled Televisions (IETVs) set to rise by a factor of six by 2013, according to iSuppli Corp.
iSuppli defines an IETV as a set that has the capability to connect to the Internet either with a wired link or wirelessly, and provides sufficient system resources to support thin-client applications such as Yahoo Connected TV widgets or the Adobe Flash Platform for the Digital Home.
Beyond the differentiation factor, the addition of Internet capabilities to television sets by leading TV OEMs represents a unique opportunity for these companies to finally have direct access, and thus additional potential revenue channels, to their end customers.
On the consumer side, iSuppli believes that IETV will emerge as one of the key features that consumers will demand in the coming years. With strong interest among both television buyers and sellers, IETVs are entering the market in droves. Already in 2009, iSuppli counts more than 85 IETV models being offered at retail in the United States alone.
From a semiconductor perspective, IETV offers a new growth area in the midst of still positive—yet slowing—revenue expansion opportunities in the television space. From 2001 to 2006, the DTV semiconductor market was an area of key investor interest due to the increasing share of TVs enabled with a digital tuner/decoder.
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