Forecast: Internet TVs Will Out-Sell 3D TVs Many Times Over

The World Cup was shot in 3D, BSkyB (NYSE: BSY) is investing heavily in to 3D. But, despite all the hype, it’s connectivity, and not whizz-bang visuals, that will shift more TVs in the next few years, according to iSuppli.

Worldwide, iSuppli reckons 27.7 million internet-enabled TVs will ship this year, against just 4.2 million 3D TVs.

— Manufacturers like Samsung and Sony (NYSE: SNE) already include nascent internet TV options — supporting VOD and widgets — in their consumer electronics.

— Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is looking to get in on the act by introducing a search-centric UI.

— In the UK, broadcasters and ISPs have formed a JV codenamed Canvas to harmonise standards and head off proliferation

— And, in Europe, a continental standard named HbbTV is being ratified, too.

Delivering content over broadband lines plugged in to the TVs is surely one of the next big explosion areas.

iSuppli reckons connected TV shipments will grow by 50 percent each year for the next two years, and by double-digit amounts thereafter up to 2014, when they are forecast to hit 148.3 in the year (that’s 54 percent of all flat-panel tellies).

But 3D TVs will continue shipping in far smaller numbers. “This is because 3D is still dealing with a number of barriers, including cost, content availability and interoperability, while IETV provides immediate benefits by allowing TV viewers to access a range of content readily available on the internet,” says iSuppli TV analyst Riddhi Patel.