Consumers increasingly viewing online content via TVs

Despite all of the PC, laptop, tablet, and smartphone options on which to view online content, almost 20 per cent of people still prefer to access it through a television set.

According to a new NPD DisplaySearch study, 18 per cent of consumers surveyed in 14 countries are turning on their TVs to watch movies and media via third-party devices like Blu-ray players or set-top boxes.

"TVs are increasingly becoming devices of choice for consumers, particularly since an increasing number of sets have either built-in connectivity or can be connected to the Internet via a peripheral device," Riddhi Patel, NPD research director of consumer insights, said in a statement.

Patel added that 25 per cent of consumers surveyed said they view online content on their TV several times a week.

Still, desktop PCs and laptops are still the leading source for viewing online content, while mobile devices like tablets and smartphones are gaining ground, NPD said.

Not everyone is scrambling to buy a television set with built-in Internet access, though.

NPD found that 44 per cent of participants "have no interest in viewing that content on their TVs." Another 30 per cent said they simply don't own the necessary devices, though only a third of them would be interested in accessing the web through a Blu-ray player.

"Although results differ by country, the results imply that there is still a general lack of interest in viewing online content via TV," Patel said. "This can be attributed to usage of devices other than TVs to view online content as well as a lack of infrastructure and/or expertise to connect their existing TVs to the internet."

Despite changing trends, daily use of televisions to view online content remains under 30 per cent in most countries, NPD reported. China, meanwhile, leads the pack in most aggressive Internet-on-TV viewing, which NPD chalked up to consumer interest in watching foreign programming that may not be available in Asia.

NPD's survey questioned 14,000 people in Asia, the UK, France, Brazil, the US, Mexico, Russia, Germany, and Italy, regarding which devices are used to viewing content and how frequently they watch online video from companies like Netflix.