Smart TV owners are not connecting to the web

While there is no doubt about the growing popularity of smart TVs, it appears that the majority of users are not using their internet features, according to a survey by Analysys Mason.

In the survey, conducted in France, Germany, Poland, Spain, the UK and the USA, more than a third of respondents were interested in buying a smart TV set, but of the 20 per cent who said they owned a smart TV, fewer than half had actually connected it to the internet.

Analysys Mason said that manufacturers need to encourage people to use the value-added ‘smart’ functionality for the new TVs to be a success, and that there was proportion of consumers who didn’t even know they owned a smart TV, having bought the TV for other reasons such as the look of the set or picture quality.

The market researchers added that although manufacturers and retailers have been successful in getting smart TVs into homes, they haven’t done so well when it comes to getting consumers to actually use the smart functionality within the sets.

According to Analysys Mason, reasons for the lack of internet use through the TVs includes the lack of compelling or differentiated content and applications. Most of this was fairly generic and uninteresting presently, they argued, but as manufacturers increasingly partner with pay TV operators and broadcasters, this may improve.

Poor user interfaces are another reason, they are not well-integrated with with linear viewing, which is still the main purpose of a smart TV set. The smart experience is delivered through a range of disjointed apps, making interaction difficult. Some manufacturers, such as Samsung, are beginning to address this through features such as content recommendation, voice and motion control, said the researchers.

“By creating an intuitive experience that seamlessly combines the efficiency of traditional broadcasting with the diversity of the internet, manufacturers can drive consumers to effortlessly embrace the ‘smart’ functionality within their TV sets. Only then will smart TVs truly be successful,” the survey report concluded.

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Image: Creative Commons/Samsung Tomorrow

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