Goodbye, cable: More Internet-capable TVs sold

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tvAre people dropping expensive cable bills to download their favorite shows off the Web? One survey suggests that consumers may be doing just that.

According to a survey by electronics market research company iSuppli Corp., approximately 27.5% of people who bought televisions in January 2010 have them connected to the Web through an internal modem or external device such as a game console, Blu-Ray or digital video box.


iSuppli concluded that the results from the survey of 800 consumers means that most people want to view Internet content on their televisions rather than a laptop and that Internet-capable televisions will continue to be big sellers. The Internet-enables televisions, known as IETVs are the fastest growing segment, the report said.

"From video-sharing sites like YouTube, to online services like Hulu, consumers increasingly are turning to the Internet for video entertainment," said Tina Tseng, analyst of television systems for iSuppli, in a statement reported by InformationWeek. Hulu, however, is soon to lose some of its shows as Viacom moves them to its Web site.

"With the increasing pervasiveness of large-size, flat-panel digital televisions and the rising availability of Internet-enabled TVs, more consumers are linking their sets to the Web," Tseng said.

It is a significant rise considering that in December 2009, 24.3% of consumers surveyed had Internet capability.

Sony, LG, Vizio, Samsung, Sharp and Panasonic are all selling IETVs and costs are coming down, Tseng said. The company also predicted sales of 87.6 million by 2013.

It does make sense considering the average cable bill runs about $75 a month. Add a few digital extras and a monthly bill can easily reach $100. By ditching the cable service and buying a Blu-Ray or game console, those costs can be recouped easily. And it looks like many people already are going that route.

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