A recent survey by iSupply reveals that nearly two out of three consumers want their televisions connected to the Internet. I find this to be a curious result, because most people don’t have TVs connected to the Web so why do they think they would want that?
iSupply’s answer makes a lot of sense. Consumers are using a variety of electronics devices, and want to connect them to each other and to the Internet. It appears that entertainment — not traditional computer data processing — is driving home networking, and if you have a network in place, there’s no reason not to connect to the Web while you’re at it. A range of networking solutions are in play, including coax cabling, home power lines, and wireless. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and no clear winner has emerged yet.
What we’ll all do with that networking remains to be seen. Maybe it will be used to share content stored within the home: photos, music collections, home videos. Maybe it will be to share access to other sources: cable, satellite, broadcast video. Or maybe it will be to access the types of Internet content that currently is viewed on a computer screen, such as social networking sites and YouTube. The most likely result is a combination of all of these, plus some new applications that we haven’t even thought of yet. The fact is that you can expect to see more Ethernet ports on the backs of HDTVs and other consumer electronics devices.