Thursday, March 3, 2011

PC2TV Video Viewers – Latest Research Results

    I posted recently about my experience of connecting with through a Nintendo Wii game console. For less than a movie ticket I can view any number of films and tv shows each month with great picture quality and not a stutter in delivery on a high speed wireless connection. Today I carved out some time to return to the web surfing side of the offering. My Wii sees the ‘net via a version of the Opera web browser. I haven’t found any way to change that out or update it and I’ve looked, because it is absent support for the majority of Flash video content on today’s web. The result of this is that content I looked forward to viewing from the comfort of my sofa won’t display. I’m talking Allan Gregg interviews from and the wonderful stuff available at to name a couple. There are exceptions of course. YouTube’s “XL” site serves up decent looking content, including the videos I’ve uploaded to the “dhurdon” channel.

    You might be forgiven for asking “who cares?”, although not by me. Granted it remains early days, but one third of adult broadband users in America connect the PC to the TV at least once a year to view local or web-hosted video content. Within this segment users are further broken out as follows:
  • Frequent Users - the 16.8% that use a PC2TV connection to watch video on their TV at least once per day;
  • Regular Users - the 21.4% that use a PC2TV connection to watch video on their TV a few times per week;
  • Moderate Users - the 35.6% that use a PC2TV connection to watch video on their TV between once and few times per month, and
  • Light Users - the 26.2% of PC2TV Video Viewers that use a PC2TV connection to watch video on their TV between once and a few times per year.

If you’re into addition you may have noticed that more than 38% of this group connects at least a few times per week. It is a virtual certainty that most of this activity involves services like Netflix, which has grown so big so fast that companies including Amazon are looking at offering streaming movies soon. My experience of surfing the ‘net on the flat panel remains underwhelming, even taking the absence of Flash video out of the equation. Were I to add a USB keyboard to the Wii, navigating would be much easier than it is using the controller and a virtual keyboard. But images and text lack crispness and the zoom function adds to those problems. The Wii’s best connection is component. It doesn’t support HDMI and I have no experience yet with surfing via a game console that does.  So my conclusion at this point in 2011 is that streaming movies via the Internet are a great value and a remarkable convenience. Surfing on the TV has a way to go. As always I’d appreciate feedback on your own experience – and if you don’t have any yet, get on it!

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