Over half of sales of TV sets in Germany this year will be of smart TVs, according to the latest study by consumer electronics trade association GFU.
Almost a third of German homes now have a smart TV. However, about two in five smart TV owners have yet to connect their devices to the internet, with about 62% of hose failing to connect the devices saying they are not interested in internet services on the TV.
Some 16% of respondents cited the complications of connecting their sets to the internet as a reason for their lack of interest, while 10% cited security concerns and 6% said their internet connection was not fast enough.
Overall, however, 41% of survey respondents cited internet connectivity as an important factor in choosing a new TV, with 36% saying it is unimportant.
Of those with a specific intention to purchase a TV, 56% said connectivity was important or very important and only 21% said it was unimportant.
Of owners of sets connected to the internet, 49% said they accessed internet services often or very often, 24% said they used them occasionally and 6% said they never used them.
YouTube was accessed by 38% of smart TV users, while 28% used them to look at photos and 20% accessed video-on-demand services and HbbTV applications. Fourteen per cent accessed Facebook and Twitter via the TV, while 13% used their TVs to make Skype calls.
Sixty-eight per cent of survey respondents were aware that smart TVs could be used to access catch-up TV services, while 67% were aware that they could be used to access VoD. Fifty-six per cent were aware that TVs could be used to access YouTube, with 53% aware of the possibility of accessing Facebook and Twitter, and 45% aware that smart TVs could be used to access Skype.
Almost 11% of Germans said they planned to purchase a new TV before the middle of next year, with internet capability cited by 56% of those as a reason to buy, slightly behind access to higher resolution TV, cited by 66% and a larger screen size, cited by 71%.