Smart TVs: the consumer electronics industry’s dirty little secret

The Smart TV secret

Update: The Smart TV report – exposing the TV industry’s dirty little secret – is now available. Click here to download.

On the face of it, things look fine. According to Informa, there will be over 800 million Smart TVs in homes worldwide by the end of 2017. However, only a small percentage of Smart TV owners are actually connecting these new-fangled devices to the internet, and even fewer are regularly making use of the variety of online services available.

Instead, viewers are turning to other devices, such as smartphones or tablets, to consume on-demand video, catch-up content, games or social media.

Lack of consumer engagement with Smart TV services has become the elephant in the room for the consumer electronics industry – everyone knows it, but no-one wants to admit it. It’s clear that a more intuitive user interface is required to tackle this issue – something we’ve discussed several times on this blog already – but so far only a few manufacturers are making an effort to improve the situation.

For example, at CES earlier this week, Samsung announced plans to simplify the Smart TV user experience. This is a step in the right direction, but it’s been a long time coming. There’s still a lot of work to be done.

To try and help our industry come to terms with this reality, we conducted a survey of people who actually work in consumer electronics, to see how we use the technology and services that we have created.

It may not come as a surprise, but those at the forefront of developing and selling Smart TVs are not making any better use of their own products than their customers are.

To give you an idea of the magnitude of this situation, we discovered:

  • Two thirds of those in the consumer electronics industry don’t even own a Smart TV
  • Most users spend less than 20% of their TV viewing time interacting with Smart TV services
  • 34% of those surveyed use another device to access Smart TV services altogether

The full report will be available to download very soon, shining a light up to the consumer electronics industry and highlighting the need for all manufacturers to introduce change. In the meantime, though, follow us on Twitter and Facebook for a sneak peak of what’s to come.


About Navin Natoewal, General Manager Philips uWand

Navin Natoewal is General Manager of the Philips uWand team. uWand is a direct pointing and gesture control technology for remote controls. uWand offers fluent 3D gesture control and direct pointing capabilities with the same intuitiveness as a multi-touch screen. uWand, a result of 80 man-years of research and development, can be implemented in remote controls and interact with multiple electronic devices such as PCs, TVs, set-top boxes, DVD players and game consoles. Users control the devices simply by pointing in the appropriate direction or making specific movements in all three dimensions. For more information please visit
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3 Responses to Smart TVs: the consumer electronics industry’s dirty little secret

  1. Pingback: Our week at CES: the Philips’ STB, tech coverage and new partnerships | uWand

  2. Pingback: Available for download: the Smart TV report – exposing the industry’s dirty little secret | Philips uWand

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