The Tablet-TV Connection

Analysts and press have paid much attention to the cannibalistic relationship of tablets and PCs — but there’s another screen whose relationship to the TV is worth considering. My colleague Annie Corbett and I published a new report today on the relationship between tablets and TVs. A few key takeaways from the report:

  • Tablets complement TV in the living room. Tablets are displacing PCs and smartphones as the “couch computer” of choice: 85% of US tablet owners use their tablets while watching TV, and according to Nielsen, 30% of total tablet time is spent while watching TV. The tablet’s complementary nature to the living room TV gives a raison d’etre to “second screen” apps like Miso, GetGlue, and Viggle that engage consumers in conversation and content related to what’s on the big screen.
  • Tablets also turn TV into a “dumb” device. A surprisingly high percentage of tablet owners — 18% — say they connect their tablets to their TVs via HDMI or VGA cables (the second- and third-gen iPad can do this, as can many Android tablets, but the Amazon Kindle Fire and Nook Tablets cannot). As much as Samsung and others have promoted “Smart TVs,” the reality is that consumers with tablets think their tablets are even smarter, and at least some of the time prefer to watch the content from their small device on the big screen.
  • Tablets displace small TVs, but also introduce “new place” scenarios for TV. Meanwhile, 32% of tablet owners say they won’t buy a small (less than 24”) TV in the future, compared with only 7% who say the same about large TVs. But they also say they watch more online video overall since getting a tablet. Consumers are using tablets as personal TVs where they had none before: the kitchen, bathroom, and airports, for example.

Product strategists in the content and cable industries have begun to exploit the tablet-TV relationship with new products like TV-everywhere apps, social TV apps, and “transmedia storytelling” apps, like the graphic novel that USA Networks produced with DC Comics to complement its TV show Burn Notice. But the TV-tablet relationship matters to product strategists in other industries as well. If your product is something else besides media — a software application, a bank account, or apparel, for example — assume that the living room is the primary place where consumers will engage with you from their tablet, and that the TV will most likely be on.


Tablet-TV Connection

I find that when I watch TV my ipad isn't far away, so I see the correlation been drawn here. I also believe that Apple with it's Air play technology has the edge when wanting that seamless connection experience without the cable, so the power to connect your tablet to your TV, now if they could only allow me to control the PIP settings so it isn't always full screen.

I do happen to travel a lot

I do happen to travel a lot and I’ve found that the best way to truly take your TV Everywhere is to use your iPad and the DISH Remote Access app (DRA) from DISH. With DRA you can access everything on your DVR and all your live channels too. You’re not just limited to the iPad either, you can also stream all your favorite shows and sporting events right on your computer or any compatible mobile device. DRA also allows you to schedule recordings and manage your DVR while you’re away from home (that can be a lifesaver when you remember last minute that you wanted to record something). You can edit and delete recordings, just as you would at home, with just a touch of a few buttons. I do work for DISH and have been using this app for quite sometime and it’s awesome, and free too. I can tell you that DISH does have the greatest TV everywhere solution in the pay TV industry right now.

Social TV

Do you think that this interaction with TV and tablets will take away from the relationships developed and maintained in the home? We are already tuned into our cell phones at the pace set by the world. Instant interaction while watching a show-Is it a little much? Are we going to lose our face to face communication in the future? These are the questions that bother me when it comes to the use and interaction of tablets with TV.