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Streaming on-demand programmes and the latest on 'smart' Internet TVs

Streaming on-demand programmes and the latest on 'smart' Internet TVs

Streaming on-demand programmes and the latest on 'smart' Internet TVs

Smart TVs are becoming more and more accessible, with companies as varied as Ikea and Google announcing plans to produce them. But are they going to be the next big thing? - especially considering the growing popularity of Internet-capable smartphones and tablets.  New research shows that most Brits haven't got plans to buy a 'smart' internet-enabled TV any-time soon, even though 26% of us watch more on-demand content than we do broadcast TV. With more of us using our broadband to stream programmes on demand, we thought we'd have a look at the latest research, the newest TVs and some very interesting tech that could change how we watch TV using the Internet ...

The latest research:

Earlier this month, YouGov published its first ever Smart TV Tracker Survey. According to the survey, just 8% of Brits currently own a smart TV and only 7% of us are planning to buy one. But that doesn't mean we're not fans of online viewing, as 26% of Brits (and 41% of 18-24 year olds) surveyed said they spend more time watching on-demand services like BBC iPlayer and YouTube than they do watching traditional or 'linear' broadcast TV. In fact, 39% of people surveyed told YouGov that they watch more on-demand TV now than they did a year ago. So, it looks like lots of money-savvy entertainment lovers are using laptops, PCs, mobiles, tablets and game consoles to stream programmes online instead of forking out for a new TV set. Interestingly though, cost might not be the only thing that's putting us off of buying smart TVs - as YouGov found that 91% of people aren't sure which apps are available on smart TVs. And the survey results also revealed that most of the people buying smart TVs aren't doing so because the sets directly connect to the internet, but because they wanted a more up-to-date, 'future-proof' TV with improved picture-quality. Unsurprisingly then , 25% of people who've bought a smart TV have never actually used it to connect to the internet.

The TV latest smart TVs:

  • Ikea's Uppleva smart TV

Ikea was named as Britain's favourite store earlier this year - but it's not just flat packed furniture and Swedish meatballs that you'll find in your local branch.

The firm's smart Uppleva TVs are expected to hit British stores this autumn. TVs in the range will feature Blu-ray, sub woofers, 20-plus apps (including YouTube and Vimeo) and the Opera for TV browser (all built in, so no messy cables). They'll also have streaming functionality and, thanks to their many built-in apps, you'll be able to play music, games, watch videos on demand and catch up with your TV viewing. Just watch the video below for more on this nifty TV:

  • LG's Google TV

At NYC's Internet Week, a month or two back, LG showcased its first Google TV - the LG G2 series. The sets will come with dual-core processors and quad-core GPUs, to improve performance when users stream content online via their broadband connections.

What’s more, the TVs will have 3D cinema technology and be compatible with lightweight, battery-free 3D glasses - so watching 3D TV on demand could soon be a possibility. Although, as Google TV still has to sign up some more content partners, most of the content that users will be able to stream will be from Amazon, Netflix and YouTube.

  • Loewe's transparent screen TV

Loewe created internet web-connected TV set back in 1998 - before iTunes, or even YouTube existed. So this manufacturer's no stranger to the internet. But the firm's latest 'Invisio' set - which boasts a transparent screen that looks like a clear sheet of glass when switched off - hit the headlines after being shortlisted for the prestigious 2011 iF Concept Design competition.

The firm was the first to demonstrate public television broadcasting and developed the first cassette tape recorder, so, who knows - transparent screens could be the next big thing for smart TVs.

Microsoft developing a web browser for Xbox.

While Xbox users can currently use Bing voice search to bring up limited media results, they'll soon be able to browse the Internet using Internet Explorer 9 from the comfort of their living room. Something Microsoft announced at last month's E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo. This, and the promising 'SmartGlass' app will give XBox owners the ability to turn any normal television set into a Smart TV. Do you have a smart TV? What do you think of them? Please leave a comment and let us know…  

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