So-called “smart TVs” reached a 46 percent market share in Germany as the number of internet-ready sets sold throughout Europe soared by 68 percent this year to 19.1 million.
Of these, 4.6 million were snapped up by German consumers, making the country the biggest single market for smart TVs in the European Union.
About one in six German households (17 percent) now has a TV with internet access, Bitkom reported on Monday. A further five percent are expected to link up before the end of the year.
But how many of those with the fancy sets actually make use of their internet capabilities? “Roughly half,” according to the industry association.
The boom has seen the European industry’s projected turnover increase by 40 percent, to €14.6 billion for this year, according to figures from the European Information Technology Observatory.
Most affected by the smart-revolution are flat-screen TVs, of which almost two-thirds (62 percent) now have Internet compatibility.
“Internet access has become a standard feature on flat-screen TV,” said Bitkom spokesman Michael Schidlack.
That’s good news for consumers, he explained, as it forces prices down. The average flat-screen smart TV now sells in Europe for €766 – 17 percent less than last year.
Internet access offers TV owners several additional benefits, such as the chance to stream or download films and to catch up on already-broadcast programmes via the Mediathek services offered by many German TV channels.
Additional content can be accessed via ‘apps’ – as on a smartphone – from weather forecasts to video-sharing websites like Youtube.