Television manufacturers will ship 138 million connected TV units worldwide in 2015 -- with more than half-billion connected TVs having shipped by then -- up from about 60 million in 2011, according to an updated forecast from research firm DisplaySearch.
This year, more than 25% of all flat-panel TVs shipped are expected to have some form of Internet connectivity, growing to 47% of all flat-panel TVs shipped in 2015, DisplaySearch said.
In 2015, 35% of 46-inch or larger TVs in North America will be "smart TVs," according to the research firm. DisplaySearch defines "smart TVs" as being able to: retrieve content from the Internet independently of a portal; provide intelligent search and recommendations; let users upgrade them; and network seamlessly with other devices in the home.
An increasing number of connected TVs will include wireless support to be able to deliver content to devices such as smartphones and tablets in the home. According to DisplaySearch's forecast, more than 98 million TV sets with 802.11 wireless networking built-in will ship in 2015.
"Wi-Fi technologies are the foundation of smart TVs," DisplaySearch director of TV electronics research Paul Gray said in a statement.
DisplaySearch's "Quarterly TV Design and Features Report" includes forecasts for video processor and signal processing integrated-circuit market development including 120/100 and 200/240 Hz frame rates. DisplaySearch is part of NPD Group, a provider of consumer and retail information and research for a range of industry sectors.