More than half of all television sets in U.S. homes are so-called “smart TVs” with the ability to connect to internet streaming services, and some seven out of 10 U.S. households reported having at least one smart TV.

That’s according to a study of more than 5,000 U.S. consumers surveyed in Q1-2021, announced this week by Hub Entertainment Research. The finding was part of the firm’s “Connected Home” report.

The study shows that 52% of all TVs in use have the ability to access streaming services, up from 45% last year. The acceleration in the adoption trend reflects a more rapid pace of television set replacements, according to Hub.

Breaking this down demographically, Hub said younger households (oldest occupant age 35 or younger) are more likely to own a smart TV at 61%, as well as homes with children age 18 and younger at 59%.

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More and more of these Smart TVs have built-in operating systems and Wi-Fi connectivity from streaming providers Roku or Amazon Fire TV, the study found, with more than two in five homes reporting having such a model. Furthermore, 57% of U.S. homes have either an intengrated Roku TV or Fire TV andd/or a Roku or Fire TV add-on streaming media player.

In other findings:

  • The television is still the main viewing device in U.S. homes, with 98.5% of U.S. households having one and using it 89% of their viewing time.
  • 40% of people use a phone to stream premium content, up from 35% a year ago.
  • 44% have an Ultra HDTV (4K or 8K), up from 31% in 2019.
  • 61% of 4K TV owners have actually watched content in native 4K, up from 49% in 2019, and as 4K adoption grows, content in 4K resolution will become a more important factor in the choice of program options.
  • 10% said they are “very likely” to buy an 8K TV in the next 12 months.
  • 44% of homes have at least one voice control remote, up from 31% a year ago, and with smart speakers included, more than half of U.S. homes use voice control devices to operate at least one television.
  • 10% of U.S. homes report have a Virtual Reality (VR) device, up from 8% a year ago, 72% use these with gaming. Hub feels this market segment is destined to appeal to “a small niche.”
  • 43% of those who plan to shop for and buy a TV this year will do it online, compared to 27% in pre-pandemic 2019.

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By Greg Tarr

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