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Content to be Next OTT Video Battleground

According to the latest market study by Futuresource Consulting, televisions and Blu-ray video disc players that are capable of accessing IP Video content directly from the Internet emerged in Europe during 2009.

It's a growing category, with a forecast of more than 20 percent of flat panel TVs shipped in 2010 being able to connect to the Internet (via Ethernet and/or Wi-Fi).

"In Europe, four of the major brands have already launched Internet connected TV products that go beyond basic home networking functionality and allow delivery of over-the-top (OTT) web services," says David Watkins, Research Consultant at Futuresource.

This includes basic weather and news pages, social networking, video streaming and catch-up TV. Although initially limited to high-end and mid-range products, Watkins believes that we're going to see a web connectivity feature on an increasing number of products next year -- eventually, becoming a standard capability within two to three years.

Futuresource expects related content creativity to be the next battleground and a key driver for connection and usage -- particularly through interaction with social networking sites and access to recently released movies.

By the end of 2010, the installed base of connected TVs will swell to 15 million devices, representing nearly 10 percent of the total number of flat panel TVs in use.

The next step for manufacturers will be to add more compelling video services, including paid for movie streaming that will create revenue sharing opportunities with content owners, aggregators and application developers.

Visit my IP Video Curator project, to learn more about these content aggregation and personalized filtering resources.

Futuresource expects sophisticated services to be launched early in 2010, including major catch-up TV services and VoD services, which will offer stiffer competition to the premium subscriptions offered by Pay TV operators.

A a result of this evolutionary development, where direct online IP Video access is built-in to most TV sets, it's not clear yet how this will impact the the market opportunity for hybrid set-top box (STB) devices.

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