In recent years, cable companies have sounded increasingly worried over the trend away from watching video content delivered via cable boxes in favor of watching on the PC. As a recent study shows, however, the TV is still a popular destination regardless of how a video gets delivered.
According to a recent Nielsen report, the computer is still where the majority of folks watch their Netflix subscriptions, with customers clocking in at 42%. That’s a fair bit under half, however, and as it turns out approximately 50% actually stream Netflix videos on a game console connected to their televisions (Wii: 25%, PS3: 13%, Xbox360: 12%). What was very interesting, though, is that a whopping 14% of respondents watch Netflix on a computer connected to their television.
Much was made of comparing the different devices used between streaming Netflix and Hulu, but the dfference isn’t as surprising as you might think. After all, Netflix users already pay a single monthly subscription for streaming video access, and this fee includes access on multiple devices. Hulu users, however, largely do not pay to access the content and must subscribe to a monthly plan in order to utilize the service on devices other than traditional desktops and notebooks.
It was noticeable that still one-fifth of Hulu users accessed the service by connecting a computer to their televisions, showing that there’s still a demand for home theater PCs (HTPCs) in the home. Despite significant efforts by companies such as Microsoft with the Windows Media Center and third parties such as Boxee, the market segment hasn’t seen much in the way of growth. The lack of any majorly successful products has left a large spot open for devices such as the Apple TV, Google TV and WD TV Live Hub to drive into the gap.