Increasingly, owners of smart TVs are using their home displays to do more than, well, watch TV.

According to new data from a just released Hub Entertainment Research “Evolution of the TV Set 2023” report, three-quarters of smart TV owners report having used at least one of seven specific “non-TV” features in their smart TVs.

The analyst said this was an increase over findings from 2020, when two-thirds of consumers surveyed reported having experimented “with at least one non-TV function.”

The report compared the accelerated use in the past 5 years to the adoption cycle of smartphones.

“Like smartphones, smart TVs have a primary function but can do many other things besides watch TV – stream music, control smart home tech, mirror screens from mobile devices – provided their owners are aware of those capabilities and are inclined to explore them,” Hub announced.

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Perhaps obviously, the age group leading this trend curve were 16-to-34 year olds, some 90% of whom reported having used a non-TV feature, compared to 55% for 55-74 year olds.

Still, the study showed that the expanded use trend is growing quickly, with the most popular non-TV feature in a smart TV being listening to streaming music and digital music service, which almost doubled from 2020 to 2023.

The second most popular non-TV-use was mirroring or casting content from one device’s smaller screen to the smart TV screen. The was up by nearly three times.

Additionally, more than 80% of users of each non-TV feature indicated being very or somewhat satisfied with the performance of a feature. Hub concluded this means most of these non-TV features score well with users in general.

As a result, the report suggests consumers are by in large willing to embrace non-TV uses for their smart sets, and those who have done so are already satisfied.

This bodes well for manufacturers looking to make their smart TVs the “hub” of smart home technology usage.

“OEMs have the chance to increase engagement with consumers across content categories (and even beyond entertainment itself) and to assume a central role in how people manage technology on a daily basis,” the data shows.

“Just as smartphones have evolved well beyond their primary mission of calling and texting, so also we may see smart TVs take on more non-video functions as they evolve – creating new benefits for consumers and new opportunities for OEMs, app developers, and marketers,” stated David Tice, Hub Entertainment Research senior consultant.

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By Greg Tarr

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