Hook’em Up, Danno!

[Okay, I’m not that big a fan of the 2.0 version of 5-0, but I couldn’t resist the reference for this title.]

The news is that The Diffusion Group has released a new report about Internet connectivity and television, and I expect that some people will be surprised by the results. According to their study, about one out of three broadband subscribers connect a PC to their television at least once a year. The point is that with all the Internet-enabled HDTVs and Blu-ray players and network media players (such as Roku) available on the market, lots of people are using what I’d call a POPC — plain old personal computer — to put content on their big screen.

And here’s a number that surprised even me. More than one out of six broadband subscribers reportedly use a PC connected to a TV to watch content every day! Based on the number of “cocktail party” conversations I’ve had with friends and family, I haven’t noticed anything close to that high a usage. On the other hand, the report indicates that 18 to 34 year olds are most likely to use a PC to TV connection, and I admit that I don’t spend a lot of time with that demographic these days.

Another encouraging finding is that nearly half of the people using a PC to TV connection are paying something for at least some of the streaming content that they watch. Now, this isn’t all that surprising when you look at the rapidly-growing numbers for the Netflix streaming service, as well as the online rental services. But it also means that piracy is not dominating the marketplace, so there is some hope that this can grow into a economically-feasible marketplace.