Points North: Consumers Crave Web-Based TV

Online media companies must arrange to make their content available on consumers' TV screens as well as their PCs. That's the conclusion of new Points North Group research to be released today, which found that while 25 percent of Internet users are interested in watching downloaded TV shows and movies on their PCs, 38 percent expressed interest in watching that same video on their TVs.

"Getting Web-based content to the TV should be the industry's primary goal and will unlock by far the biggest revenue opportunities," Stewart Wolpin, senior consulting analyst for Points North Group, said in a statement.

Interest in watching content on TV is even stronger among 18- to-34-year-olds--at 68 percent, compared with the 45 percent interested in watching on PCs--concluded the study, conducted in association with Horowitz Associates.

Points North's findings are hardly a revelation for many of the leading technology and content companies that are racing to accommodate consumer demand.

Over the past month, America Online, Yahoo, and ESPN.com, among others, have announced partnerships with chip maker Intel to use its new Viiv technology platform, which allows users to consume Internet content--including AOL's--over their TV screens.

Intel is currently in partnership with NBC Universal to offer on-demand broadband video streams of the Torino Olympics to Viiv PC owners.

Just as Intel's Centrino technology popularized the use of wireless broadband, the technology company and its content partners are betting on Viiv to transfer Web content to consumers' TVs.

The first Viiv-compatible computers and laptops are expected to start trickling to market over the next several months. TVs, Internet-ready DVD players, and other devices, however, are not expected to debut until the second half of this year.

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