Waffling about the Cord-Cutting Timetable

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And for this week’s installment of the continuing saga of “Cord Cutting Forecasts,” we take a look at the entry from Knowledge Networks. The soothsayers there contend that 62% of American homes have TV sets that are not Internet-connected and that “most plan to stay that way.”

But what’s this? We dig a little deeper into the Knowledge Networks report and find that the current minority of ‘Net-connected TV watchers are not only younger, better-educated and higher income (characteristics never overlooked by advertisers), but that two-thirds of them confess that the visual quality of Internet video is equal to or better than conventional TV reception. Some 10% of them watch TV shows and 11% screen movies via the Web at least once a month. Among young viewers (13 to 31 years old), the share is 17%. Moreover, in the homes that can access ‘Net-video, 21% of viewers are “dedicated users.”

All that back-up data seems to suggest that the majority who are sticking with “regular” video may indeed shrink. Meanwhile, another forecast this week from Display Search projects that by 2015, 47% all flat panel TVs will include some form of Internet connectivity. The company’s “Quarterly TV Design and Features Report” pegs the number of such sets at 138 million units globally. That means in just four years, more than 500 million ‘Net-connected TV sets will be in homes around the world.

Maybe by then, more people will have figured out how to use that feature - and then the cord-cutting (or trimming) will be recognized as a more serious threat.

Gary Arlen is president of Arlen Communications LLC in Bethesda, MD, and a long-time interactive TV enthusiast. Reach him at GArlen@ArlenCom.com