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Smart TVs get consumer ‘thumbs down’

Smart TVs are getting a “thumbs-down from early adopters”, with viewers preferring to use tablets, smartphones and other connected devices to access online media, according to Strategy Analytics.

A new study by the research firm, called ‘online video lead adopters bypass the smart TV with personal devices,’ claims that while half the surveyed sample had bought a smart TV in the past three years “no one was found to be using it as their main source for connected media entertainment” as other devices were deemed easier to use.

Early adopters who had not purchased a smart TV yet were “concerned that these products were not ready to deliver an adequate experience” and were happy to continue using other connected devices instead, the report said.

It added that while traditional TV will continue to play a key role in the home, people will “increasingly rely on the convenience of personal devices and OTT TV/video services” to support their entertainment needs.

“[Original equipment manufacturers] and app developers are failing to provide smart TV users with apps and services that enhance the TV experience. Furthermore, an intuitive remote that works fluidly with the [user interface] and provides ease of text input with an integrated touchscreen is imperative to consumers finding the apps and services functional on a TV,” said Strategy Analytics senior analyst for the firm’s user experience practise, Taryn Tulay.

The study was done by Strategy Analytics’ Digital Home Observatory division, which focuses on user experience and consumer behaviour insights and data, and looked at how the behaviour of eight “advanced user households” changed over the past three years with the arrival of new connected TV technologies.