A recent study by Parks Associates suggests that almost one-third of US households with broadband Internet regularly watch TV online. While much of that viewing occurs through computers (desktops or laptops), the number of connected TVs and the number of add-on devices for delivering online video to TV sets (such as the Roku Box or Apple TV) continue to grow. The Parks study reports that 13% of US broadband homes already have an OTT (over-the-top) device - almost a third of which were acquired during the 2011 holiday period. They also predict that some 14 million more OTT units will be sold in 2012.
Kurt Scherf, a vice president at Parks, stated: "While this trend does not yet frequently equate to canceling pay-TV services, it can mean shaving some premium channels for a set of households."
I look for continued expansion of OTT/online video viewing, facilitated by growing broadband diffusion, expanding WiFi coverage, booming sales of tablets and other personal media devices, and the rise of "TV Everywhere" as a marketing strategy. (I have both a Roku box and Apple TV, and can recommend them as a stopgap until you get your next (connected) HDTV.)
Update: Numbers from Ooyala, a digital video analytics firm, provide more support for the growth of online video. They report that the number of video plays on tablets, mobile devices, and connected TVs all doubled from the 3rd quarter of 2011 to the 4th quarter. Video plays on Google TV jumped 91%. Plays on Apple's iPhone jumped 156%, with a 61% increase on Android-based smartphones.
Sources: OTT TV Numbers Rising, Media Daily News
Digital Viewing of Traditional TV Rises, Media Daily News
Edit track: Added info from Ooyala story.