Amazon Fire TV
The number of devices connected to the Internet and capable of delivering apps to TV screens is expected to grow 59% by 2019, totaling more than 238 million devices. Connected TVs are forecast to drive 45 percent of the growth over the coming four years, while less expensive, content-heavy streaming media players are projected to drive 35 percent growth.
Connected TV growth in the United States is expected to track at a nearly 2.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2020, slower than the growth rate for almost every other streaming media player available, indicating that households will have multiple devices available for watching online video.
In a new report, eMarketer forecast that connected TV users will top 181.8 million users in the U.S., increasing to 202.1 million by 2020.
A pair of studies forecast a surge in sales for 4K UHD TVs this holiday season as consumers will have more brands, options and screen sizes from which to choose, and as prices continue to fall.
4K UHD television sales are set to grow by 40% Y/Y in the U.S., according to the Consumer Technology Assoc., and account for more than half (56%) of all TV sales during Q4.
Hulu’s decision to cut its free, ad-supported streaming service is expected to sharply reduce the number of users of the service, dropping its base by nearly half, according to new research that also says Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service is booming.
There may be a paucity of 4K content available to stream at the moment -- with big question marks about how much is in the pipeline and how much consumer demand there really is – but rumors abound that Google will announce a new Chromecast 4K device at its Oct. 4 event.
One of Amazon Fire TV’s best features is its ability to search outside Amazon Prime Instant Video. Yes, the search still prioritizes its master’s content, listing availability on Prime Instant Video and Prime’s electronic sell through before other sources. But search on Amazon Fire TV devices has just gotten better, as Netflix, HBO Go and, soon, HBO Now, have been added to the list.
For current device owners, a free over-the-air upgrade will install the new software.
Consumers are watching more OTT content and that’s driving a surge in the digital media adapter (DMA) market.
Google’s bargain-priced Chromecast streaming dongle gained significant market share in 2015, but remained second to the Apple TV in terms of total units shipped, as the global market for Connected TV devices -- including Smart TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles and digital media streamers – topped 220 million units for the year after a massive fourth quarter that saw 84 million units ship.
Smart TVs were supposed to be the bastard children of the digital video revolution, too expensive with too long a replacement cycle and too unwieldy to be able to pivot as the technology behind video evolved.
Turns out they may be the favorite after all, at least in the United States.
Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku streaming devices all support voice search.
Google’s Chromecast dongle sports a $35 price tag.
Game. Set. Match.
Consumers are – at the moment anyway – opting for price over product features, snapping up Chromecast dongles almost twice as often as Apple TV, the second-most popular streaming device.
It’s been a busy six weeks for streaming device manufacturers, with new releases from Google, Apple and Amazon. Last, but not least, of the streaming device updates before the holiday season kicks off is Roku’s new Roku 4.
The new box includes the ability to deliver 4K Ultra HD (UHD) and HD TV content and features a quad-Core processor, up to 60 fps 4K streaming, HDCP 2.2 and Optical Audio Out.
Amazon, which has been busily signing content deals and rolling out its own original programming for its Prime Instant Video service (see below), this week said it would stop selling competitors’ boxes that aren't compatible with Amazon's video service.