Technology research group iSuppli predicts an explosion in demand for consumer electronics (CE) devices capable of supporting Internet video. In a report issued Wednesday, iSuppli predicted that Internet-video-capable CE shipments would rise by nearly a factor of five from 2009 to 2013.

By 2013, 376.5 million entertainment-oriented CE platforms with the capability to support Internet video are expected to be shipped, up from 80.5 million in 2008. These devices include TV sets, set-top boxes (STBs), Blu-ray players and video game consoles.

"The expansion of broadband Internet access from home computers to other devices including STBs has opened up a world of new possibilities for supporting Internet video via streaming and downloads," said Sheri Greenspan, iSuppli senior analyst for CE, in a statement.

"More importantly, the public is demanding this type of content on a wider variety of platforms," she said. "However, they want this content to be easily available, and they want it to be of the same video quality as the programming on their living room televisions."

(For a story on Internet-capable STBs with Flash streaming, click here.)

The iSuppli report said that one major challenge resulting from the proliferation of Internet-capable video devices is bandwidth. A majority of consumers still do not have sufficient high-speed access to the Internet. Bandwidth will need to increase if consumers are to enjoy a larger amount of video content that can be played instantly, said the report.

– Linda Hardesty

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