By Tamaryn Pratt

(August 31, 2010) As a market analyst and researcher I’d say yes, but the stats say it is unclear today. Internet TVs have been around in some fashion for a while now, let’s call it year 3, and actual sales results have been, well, lukewarm. It was CES 2009 that kicked off the first big year for Internet TVs as 2008 was really a starter year with unit sales of little over a half a million.  In 2009, 8 percent of the LCDTVs sold had Internet capabilities and due to the screen size offering almost 20 percent of Plasma TVs. When looking at the total 40-inch and above Flat Panel TV market about 20 percent of the TVs had Internet capabilities in 2009. Not bad results. However, we’re now halfway through 2010 and Internet TV sales are still only about 20 percent of the 40-inch and above flat panel TV market in units, and sales for the LCD TV category have inched up to about 10 percent for the same time period.

Why? This is where market research comes into play and if you are an Internet TV owner we need your help, but more on that later.

Here is what we know from the marketplace. There are a limited number of products and screen sizes that include the Internet TV feature. The offering is expanding, but many of us are too strapped to pay up for a feature that is typically only included in the higher end and higher priced models. Manufacturers have been changing their approaches. Some were supporting Yahoo Widgets early on, but now are offering up their own home grown apps. I’m not sure if consumers care per se, but it might be confusing to the tech savvy, especially now that there is news of Google TV. One thing is for sure, 3D TV marketing has been over the top, with 3D TV pitched as the second coming of HDTV. Maybe manufacturers have focused too much on 3DTV, which deemphasized the Internet TV feature, keeping it from getting a fair shake on the retail floor.

One thing is for sure, CE manufacturers want to know what current owners think about their Internet TV. Here is where you chime in if you are an Internet TV owner – because the reality is that industry needs your help! Several CE manufacturers tasked Quixel Research and HD Guru to form a panel of Internet TV owners. This is a limited group of owners who will share details about their TV and experiences roughly four times a year.  It is the crucial time in the Internet TV lifecycle to determine which product features are fantastic and which are flops.

Joining the Internet TV panel is simple and easy for those of us who like to prattle on about our electronic gadgets. Just click the banner ad on the right side of this page to join the panel and start the first survey. Do not worry; we are not trying to sell you anything.  Your name and personal information will not be used, sold, or traded. We only want your feedback. The panel is just getting underway so there is still room to join the group.

Did I mention the perks for joining? We’re giving away a FREE Flat Panel TV to one panelist each time we run a survey. Also, as an Internet TV panel member you’ll have access to current product updates as well as details on new products and apps. On an ongoing basis Quixel will provide members the panel research summaries to keep you informed on what your fellow members are doing with their Internet TVs… and of course all those juicy industry tidbits.

Someday Internet TVs will be mainstream, but for now they are still cutting edge. If you own one, your valuable experience and insights will help manufacturers fully develop this feature. Join now!

Tamaryn Pratt is the Principal at Quixel Research a market intelligence firm located in Portland Oregon. Quixel’s expertise is in providing primary research as well as market tracking and forecasting for the USA TV market.

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