Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Your Internet Is Already on Your TV

poltergeistStill waiting for the Internet and TV to converge? It may have already happened.

Four out of 10 Americans have connected their TV to the Internet, according to a new Forrester study. If you’re just talking about the whippersnappers in the 18-to-32 age bracket, the number shoots up to 6 in 10.

Forrester credits Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PS3 for most of that; it says 42 percent of connected TV watchers are hooked up via a game console.

If you’re an oldster like me — who remembers the days of rabbit ears, Pong and three broadcast networks — that number seems staggeringly high. And we can attach a few caveats below.

But it’s not the first time we’ve seen stats like these.

Earlier this fall NPD reported that TVs have become the most common screen for Web video-watching. And Netflix says the PS3 often generates more streams per day than PCs do.

So if you’re willing to say these reports are at least directionally correct, it’s a big deal, at least for Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and everyone else who has been waiting on this moment.

forrester tv

If you do want to pick at these numbers, there are a couple ways to do that. For starters, note that the Forrester poll asks people if they have “ever accessed” the Internet on a TV, which is different from regular use. And it’s possible that many gamers are simply counting playing with other gamers as an Internet connection.

Most important is that Forrester’s numbers come from an online survey. And, as Forrester notes in the footnotes to their research, “respondents who participate in online surveys generally have more experience with the Internet and feel more comfortable transacting online.”

In other words: You can probably knock these numbers down a bit if you want to talk about the entire U.S. population. But even then, there’s definitely something here. And maybe that’s old news to everyone but me.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus