Streaming Non-Binary? 44% of Consumers Connect Via Both Smart TV OS and a Streaming Media Player

Family watching TV
(Image credit: FreePik)

The conventional wisdom is that consumers tend to use the operating system powering their smart TV, and that HDMI-connected streaming media players (SMPs) are going away. 

But according to the latest Hub Entertainment Research survey data, the discussion isn't so absolute. 

Hub, which surveyed 2,517 U.S. consumers in August for its “Streaming TV: Built-In vs Plugged-In?” report, found that 83% of American homes have connected a TV to the internet. And among those homes, 44% use both their smart TV OS and and SMP to stream video. 

(Image credit: Hub Entertainment Research)

Notably, consumer streaming behavior is pretty similar, regardless as to what type of device they're using to connect. 

Slightly more SMP users prefer to use the homepage of the OS to search for content -- perhaps suggesting that dongles and hockey pucks are a little more up-to-date. 

And slightly more smart TV consumers use the native buttons on their remote to shortcut to various services. This perhaps suggests that smart TV users are a little less streaming literate? 

In any event, the differences are ... slight.

(Image credit: Hub Entertainment Research)

(Image credit: Hub Entertainment Research)

“The question of ‘built-in vs plugged-in’ is surprisingly revealed in this study to be ‘it doesn’t really matter.’ Whether people are using a smart TV or a streaming media player, their habits are very similar,” said David Tice, senior consultant to Hub and co-author of the study.

“In the short term, both devices are going to co-exist – streaming media players are a long way from being replaced by smart TVs, and can’t be ignored,” he added.

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!