back to article Billions of net-ready boxes in homes by 2016

IPTV Week logo Punters may not be turning to internet-connected smart TVs in their droves, but the near future looks set to be a bumper time for gadgets that bridge the gap between the net and ordinary HD TVs. US market watcher NPD In-Stat reckons that there were some 256.8m devices - among them set-top boxes, games …


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  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Will anyone still watch broadcast TV?

    Yes, I rather suspect they will. There will still be the old fogeys like me who can cope with waiting for next week's exciting episode; who don't want to watch the entire series in one hit; who don't really care about the latest series of whatever, only available in the states. They're the people who in general trust the taste of the programme makers and channel directors; the people (like me!) who listen to 'Radio 4' rather than 'talk radio'.

    And they'll probably still prefer to record the commercial channels and skip through the adverts.

    1. Bakunin
      Thumb Up

      Will anyone still watch broadcast TV?

      As will I.

      The broadcast signal remains DRM free and uses up none of my bandwidth. I can record and then watch when I want on almost any platform. An often over looked benefit.

  2. johnnytruant

    given the dross the commercial channels produce

    I will happily pay my license fee regardless of how the content is delivered. That comment stands in relation to both TV and radio.

    1. Code Monkey

      Me too. I really don't understand the last line about abolishing the TV licence. Quality programming costs regardless of the transmission medium.

      1. Bakunin

        40p a day for Radio 4 is enough justification in my book.

  3. Big_Ted

    Strange way to look at the figures.....

    "The good news for Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo is that their offerings, current and future, are the devices consumers are most likely to use to get internet content onto their tellies. There will be some 36.7m net-connectable consoles in homes come 2016, In-Stat reckons."

    So if 20% of homes have a console conected to 1 tv in the home how is that the most likely root.

    I would have thought that those smart tv's coming out with it built in plus all the dvd and blu ray players also with it built in are more likely.

    Lets be honest here, most of us will use the telly to watch tv programs and films and not surf the net or use facebook etc. This is more so in homes with more than one person watching the telly at the same time. Its more likely that surfing will continue to be via devices we hold or laptops and desktops with media on the telly.

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Thumb Up


      I was about to say pretty much the same - the number of net-enabled devices does not equate to the number of people using net-enabled devices for their viewing. Besides, how many of those devices are not even hooked-up to the net, and how many people don't have the bandwidth to sustain their desired viewing habits entirely by streaming (or download) even if they wanted that?

      There is, and will be, a change towards selecting streaming as an addition to live viewing, and that will likely increase as equipment allows for an easy and integrated means to do so. The big improvement to people's lives has been time-shifting, either using PVR or streaming, but I'm not convinced streaming will replace live TV. And what would happen under the weight of everyone switching to streaming if they did?

      The one thing seemingly not considered is that live broadcasters will inevitably shift to compete and we already see that happening with +1 channels and rebroadcasting programmes at other times of the day. Perhaps we will see the net replacing broadcast one day but I don't expect it any time soon.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Works for us...

    As well as the usual PC and smartphone routes, in our house we can also watch the BBC iPlayer on our Blu-ray player (which adds Demand 5, which I never do...) and Wii. We watch relatively little scheduled telly these days, mainly because the chances of something we want to see, being broadcast in one of the tiny timeslots when we're free, are pretty teensy to put it mildly.

    Of course, if the whole population is viewing wall-to-wall IPTV within five years, won't the UK's creaking national broadband infrastructure have completely collapsed under the strain? (Or were BT and their cohorts over-egging that particular pudding...)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Until there is unlimited broadband, then I'll continue to make do with terestrial freeview, thanks, otherwise my broadband bill will far outstrip the TV licence.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Quite a lot of people already have unlimited broadband but it's only half the solution. IP TV is usually a distinctly lo-fi experience compared to even the poorest of broadcast channels, overcompressed and/or low res, it's sometimes enough to make the eyes bleed.

      Until broadcasters choose to supply higher quality feeds and afford the associated bandwidth to allow it IPTV will be a 2nd rate experience. Even the supposed benefits of on-demand viewing aren't enough compensation for the compulsory advertising so many providers make unskippable.

      In a world full of PVRs it's usually a better experience recording off air than watching over the Internet so it's hard to believe broadcast will die.

  6. Jon Press

    Telly Tax

    Paying Netflix, Lovefilm, Sky, Sony, BT and every other would-be content provider separately would be bad enough, but integrating their proprietary interfaces into every TV is a logistical nightmare for hardware providers.

    I really don't think IPTV is going to take off for anything except free content (like iPlayer) until there are some common standards for delivery and payment.

    Until then, the advantage of a "telly tax" is that it gives access to a wide range of DRM-free content through one simple annual payment with significant economies of scale.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The telly tax should have been abolished before birth. Public broadcasting would be easier and cheaper to collect via general taxation than it is to have a dedicated system including employing folk to chase payment and threaten non-TV owners and monitor for unlicensed use. It is total insanity. The raise in general taxation to cover the cost would be negligible and it then becomes just one more thing we pay for as a community and may or may not use as we wish/need. It's a pity it takes an issue like Net TV to even consider its abolition.

    1. toffer99

      Reason for TV tax

      Whoever drafted the original legislation back in the days of Lord Reith did a good job. The BBC has a charter which is renewed every ten (?) years, and the money details are agreed with the government of the day.

      This time the government made them institute cuts so that the licence fee would be frozen until 2016 when the charter next expires.

      If the government decided yearly how much should be given to the BBC, they would have slashed its budget under Thatcher, who was just as much a creature of Murdoch as is Cameron's mob, and the Beeb would probably no longer exist, leaving British television to Sky.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time broadcasters had a radicle rethink

    I don't own a TV; plenty of other things take up my time, plus an excess of celeb/reality programing isn't what I want to watch. Get my news from radio or streamed over T'Internet.

    When Pink Floyd penned "13 channels of sh1t on my TV to choose from", commenting on US TV, who'd have thought we'd end up with what we have now?

    IMO, less is more, and with DVR functionality in many new TV's, there is no need to have dedicated channels continuously looping old TV series. The DVR could record those series over night for instance. Fewer channels, transmiiting old/minority stuff overnight please!

  9. Andy Fletcher


    I'm already watching YouTube at least twice (probably as much as x10) as much as the idiot box. My three teenage children are too. Only my wife watches the box more than the net.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will anyone still watch broadcast TV?

    Hell yes.

    All those still trapped on the end of a bit of lousy BT alluminium for starters.

    Fibre is a myth...

  11. jake Silver badge

    From another perspective ...

    All of my graphical displays have been capable of showing me "dear old telly", since roughly 1985 (a few were capable prior to that, but who is quibbling?).

    But not a single one of them actually display TV.

    Why? For the simple reason that there isn't anything useful on broadcast (cable, dish, whatever) TV. I find looking out the window more fulfilling than watching television.

  12. toffer99

    TV Licence?

    Sure lets abolish it and the BBC television, national and local radio, amazing website. Who needs all those original science and nature programs.

    I'd rather pay Sky a grand a year for recycled American crap and a few decent bits of sport.

    Wouldn't you?

    No, and me neither.

  13. Grumble
    Thumb Up

    I'm more than happy to pay it just for

    radio 4 and if any of the nay-sayers watch any BBC output by whatever means then they can pay up too.

  14. feanor

    Will anyone still watch broadcast TV?

    Yes, the large proportion of the UK who's "broadband" connection is pathetically slow. We will all be watching broadcast TV for decade to come, as the chances of our monopolized telecommunications business investing in suitable internet connections is just about zero.

  15. Cheshire Cat

    I'd pay the license fee...

    Here in New Zealand, I'd gladly pay the NZ$250/year BBC license fee in order to get unrestricted access to all the advertising-free UK BBC channels -- the alternative is to pay >$1000 per year for the Sky crap, with up to 25% of time advertising, and only recycled US rubbish.

    I'm always amazed how much UK people complain about the license fee, when I've seen what happens when you don't have one...

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