Consumers more connected to TV sets than ever
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Consumers more connected to TV sets than ever

American consumers continue to expand the number of devices and platforms they use to view TV shows and movies, yet report no significant change in the total time they spend watching on the traditional TV set. Which is good news for Apple if, as myriad rumors suggest, it's planning its own HDTV set in 2012 or 2013.

An annual study of consumer video consumption habits conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates ( reveals that while more than 50% of online consumers watch TV shows and movies online at least occasionally, there is still growth in their use of On Demand, DVR, and DVD options. Surprisingly, the more alternative platforms that consumers use, the more they tend to spend on traditional TV subscription services.

Notably, satisfaction with HD service is at an all-time high among customers of pay television providers, including cable, satellite, and telco TV. TV purchase intentions have climbed back to near pre-recession levels. Forty percent of consumers indicate they will shop for a new TV set in the next year. The proportion shopping for a new primary TV is up to 28% from a low of 23% in 2009.

Superior display, wide-screen format, and Internet connectivity top the list of TV set features in greatest demand -- and features Apple should rule. In fact, an impressive 62% of TV shoppers said Internet connectivity is an important factor in their decision to purchase a new TV.

"Consumers have been streaming TV shows and movies to the TV screen enabled by a very diverse set of devices, including game consoles, computers, streaming specific devices like Apple TV and Blu-ray players, so an Internet-connected Smart TV is the desirable next step," says Maryann Baldwin, vice president, Magid Media Futures and author of Magid's tenth annual survey of consumer video entertainment behaviors and attitudes across traditional and emerging platforms.

Consistent with the demand for high-quality displays, the intention to purchase HDTV sets continues to run strongest, while the proportion of those who plan to buy a 3-D TV set has dropped significantly over the past year from 67% to 49% of all TV shoppers. Three percent of households now own a 3-D TV set.

-- Dennis Sellers

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