Smart TVs Not Utilized To Full Capacity

WatchingTVSmart TVs are growing, but many of those U.S. consumer owners are not smart enough -- or just not interested -- in using those TV units to their fullest potential.

Estimates are that there are 25 million U.S. smart TV homes, out of some 114 million TV homes, according to the NPD Group. But only about half -- or 12 million -- are Internet-connected and not using the new television sets' fullest capabilities, such as accessing the likes of Netflix, YouTube or Hulu.

A recent study for the Council on Research Excellence from One Touch Intelligence added that the "50% ratio of smart TVs to actual Internet-connected smart TVs has held steady since the debut of smart TVs in the latter part of the last decade. It’s a conundrum no one industry has been able to solve."

It's not much better with Blu-ray players, which many new smart TV owners purchased at the same time. At present, are there 42.1 million U.S. homes with Blu-ray players, and 15 million homes have a Blu-ray player connected to the Internet.

"Without an Internet connection, all the apps available on those devices, whether it’s Netflix, Hulu or an MVPD’s cable programming channel lineup, lie dormant," says the CRE study.

Some reluctance may come from consumers' mixed feelings about completely replacing their multi-video programming distributors' (MVPDs) set-top boxes.

"Until an MVPD’s full channel lineup is available on a smart TV or Blu-ray player, usage of those devices to watch linear television will be limited," notes the report. Another contributing factor: Smart TVs have no DVR-like storage. But new cloud-like or network DVR type storage services could change behavior.



14 comments about "Smart TVs Not Utilized To Full Capacity".
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  1. William James from Journal Media Group, December 26, 2012 at 8:43 a.m.

    Maybe they should include these types of TVs in some sitcomes and other shows to show off the features and use in everyday situations. The reason I suggest sitcoms is because the advertisement would last more than 30 seconds..I own a Roku box and would like to be able to watch shows and share comments with my closest friends and family watching the same shows..

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, December 26, 2012 at 8:59 a.m.

    I'm smart enough, but lost interest after a few months. The novelty effect is definitely a factor.

  3. Lindy Sieker from Empower MediaMarketing, December 26, 2012 at 9:28 a.m.

    Perhaps slightly offensive to state that consumers are not smart enough.

    Personally, I'm not interested in paying for Netflix, etc., on my TV or my tablet, or my phone for that matter. The economy does not permit excessive spending in my budget. Everything takes time. If it is what consumers want to do, it will eventually become more used.

  4. Mark Sires from SCI, December 26, 2012 at 12:29 p.m.

    The first indication of a failed technology is blaming the user. The user isn't the problem. I have 3 'smart' devices in my house, none of which are very smart. The interfaces are bad, they are incredibly slow, and the remote control is a horrible interface device for the already bad apps. These 'smart' apps are mostly marketing gimmicks with little value.

  5. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, December 26, 2012 at 1:14 p.m.

    Non-conjunctive-itis. More programming and more costs without providing more time in the day makes for skitsy growth.

  6. Paul Johnson from na, December 31, 2012 at 12:58 p.m.

    I have used many products to try this and the biggest problem is the search function on most of them just plain sucks. On top of that typing something with a TV remote is awkward at best.
    I have spent longer trying to find the program I want to watch than actually watching it. Not to mention to pay for TV content AND netflix AND hulu plus AND vudu and so on is ridiculous, then add the internet itself and it just becomes pointless.

  7. Robert Gill from Charter Communications, January 2, 2013 at 10:21 a.m.

    It's really very simple, SMART TV's are just not smart enough yet. Keyboards or extremely well operatiing voice commands are a MUST. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY likes to use the remote number keypad to search for a movie/title.

  8. April orchid from na, January 2, 2013 at 11:04 a.m.

    From my experience with my Samsung Smart TV, unless the users is saavy from a technical perspective, or has the patience to technically self-educate in the use of SMART TVs, the biggest issues revolve around the lack of initial assistance in setup of the connection followed by the quirkiness of the functionality once set up to use these features. Once I finally figured out how to set up my internet connection with my SMART TV, which worked, none of the dashboard buttons functioned as they should have. Thus, I do not know what else I have not done to make these features usable and I don't know anyone else who does would could assist me. The solution, from my perspective, is to have a Samsung representative walk me thru it over the phone, or to have the retail store set it up when it is delivered. Perhaps it could also be setup by the ISP, but they would probably not want to get involved in that area of customer service without a special tech contract, etc. Thus, these are the reasons why I have been unable and/or reluctant to use SMART TV as it was intended from my own personal experiences. I might add that I am highly educated and considered quite bright, and this whole experience was frustrating and aggravating to me. I can't image how older folks would ever want to go through this, and indeed the younger ones as well.

  9. April orchid from na, January 2, 2013 at 11:06 a.m.

    A final thought....SMART TVs should come with a small keyboard instead of using the buttons on the remote. Very, very cumbersome and slow!!!!!!!!

  10. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, January 2, 2013 at 5:01 p.m.

    It's very difficult to even buy a TV of higher price where smart isn't just thrown into the deal. So it should be no surprise they're not being used for being smart...after all they aren't being BOUGHT to be smart. That said, I find that smart features bring only tiny value to the broad consumer market. The smart features just don't offer anything significant enough to be in the TV set instead of a pad, phone, or laptop.

  11. Michael Natale from MCM Media Sales, January 3, 2013 at 10:27 a.m.

    What a Shocker Doug from Atomic Direct is defending the traditional TV model again. Doug we get it you are in teh Direct Response TV business and feel the need to defend the indefensible....the traditional ad supported TV model, which by most standards is broken beyond repair. SMART TV's are great I have two, one is a bit older and needs a sitck to grab my home internet connectivity and the second one is newer and came with WIFI built in.....admittedly the remot controls are cumbersome at first but you get used to it after a while. I stream Netflix (no ads) and Pandora all the time and I find it a great experience overall using the apps and's just form of fragmentation that takes me away from simply turning on the tv in the traditional sense....sorry Doug. I am sure Tim Orr is going to chime in to defend you though.

  12. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, January 3, 2013 at 5:37 p.m.

    Michael - quit presuming you get it. Truth: most HDTV's weren't bought for quality, but because they make big screen TV manageable. Truth: most smart TV's aren't bought for their smart features. And, the App developers are still struggling mightily to find apps to run on Smart TV's that make TV watching better. Accessing Netflix through it? Great - except why there as opposed to the Xbox, DVR, or AppleTV's we all have? Anyway, this is a mass market truth - and your single anecdotal focus group of one doesn't do away with truth.

  13. Michael Natale from MCM Media Sales, January 4, 2013 at 10:29 a.m.

    Doug you crack me up....I bet if you asked 100 people on the street if they use their DVR to skip primetime commercials and 40% said yes, or if you asked 100 people if they used their Smart TV to stream Netflix or listen to Pandora while reading a book in their living room, and 20% said yes you wouldn't believe any of them because you are in the business of placing Direct Response ads on TV so what is the point of arguing with you, since you believe what you want to believe and I am simply stating or restating what the trades and the people I know do everyday so this is not a focus group of one by any means. Incidentally over the Holiday break I downloaded the first Season of Homeland on my iPad and watched it non stop for 3 days and didn't watch Traditional TV at all and saw no Ads...but nobody else does that right Doug? Yes, I skip ads via my DVR and yes I use my SMART TV to stream Netflix (which as you know shows no ads) and yes I have Apple TV as well....but I am the only one on Earth who does this because the Ad supported TV model in your world is not irreperably damaged and broken. You realize there is a whole generation of young people who will grow up with a computer and Smart Phone and Tablet, who consume media on their own terms and can avoid Ads? You think people actually like the 22 minutes of Ads per Hour long Drama or 10 minutes per Half Hour Sitcom? The accumulation of devices and content delivery systems (which you mention above...Xbox DVR's AppleTV) undermines your theory as these devices serve to fragment the Ad supported model more and more and more. You are hanging on to a lost dream's not 1950 where the Traditional American family sits in front of their black and white TV with no remote and watches I Love Lucy and all the Commercials that go with it!

    But we all know Media agencies don't get fired for buying Television for their clients, so the money will still be there don't worry Doug...although the ratings will continue to plummet and response rates (especially for the affluent segment of society) will not sustain.
    Believe me I get it

  14. Michael Natale from MCM Media Sales, January 4, 2013 at 3:12 p.m.

    Doug more info for you...from Ad Age today:
    Candy and snacks giant Mondelez International will consolidate U.S. media-planning and -buying duties with Publicis Groupe's MediaVest, while giving Aegis Group more international strategic responsibilities

    "The impetus for the changes are a desire on behalf of Mondelez to have its agencies help figuring out how to connect with consumers at a time when their media-consumption habits have changed drastically, Mr. Bough said"

    "There has been a proliferation of media platforms," he said. "Whether it's the fact that you sit and watch TV with a third screen in front of you [or] whether it's the fact that you stand in [store] aisle with a phone in front of you," he said. Also, "commuting behaviors have change because instead of watching the morning news before you leave, all of that news comes to you on a mobile device." He added: "How do we engage with them across those various touchpoints?"

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