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Sony, Microsoft and Samsung Embrace Video

New online video applications, plus established offerings like YouTube and the BBC iPlayer, are no longer confined to PC users, according to the latest market study by Strategy Analytics.

A wave of recent announcements from major players such as Sony, Microsoft and Samsung confirms that Internet-enabled TVs, games consoles and peripherals, such as Blu-ray Disc players, will soon deliver web-based content to millions of TV viewers around the world.

Strategy Analytics estimates that by the end of 2008 186 million connected TV devices worldwide will be able to access some form of Internet content.

"The web video explosion has so far been restricted largely to PC users," says David Mercer, VP and Principal Analyst.

"Now it is moving to the TV screen. While business model and content partner issues are still to be resolved, the floodgates are open – web video is set to become a regular part of the TV viewing experience."

Connected TV devices allow viewers to access the Internet using a home broadband connection. The technology can be integrated into the TV itself, or more often is available through devices such as games consoles, set-top boxes, digital video recorders (DVRs) and digital media adapters like AppleTV.

Sony recently announced that all of its TVs would feature web connectivity within the next three years. In the U.S., Sony will offer the movie "Hancock" over the Internet, to owners of its Bravia TV sets, using its Bravia Internet Video Link.

"Internet connectivity is becoming commonplace across a wide spectrum of consumer devices," says Peter King, Director, Connected Home Devices. "By 2014 more than two-thirds of all products sold will integrate Internet access."

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