Sales of internet video devices are forecast to increase by nearly 80% this year, with the most significant uptake in the form of network connected televisions and Blu-ray disc players. Lower prices, the addition of network connections and the prospect of 3D video will help make Blu-ray a more compelling consumer proposition, with forecast shipments of 28 million connected players next year. In five years there could to be almost half a billion households able to view internet video on television.

These figures are contained in the latest report from IMS Research on Market Opportunities for Internet Video to the TV. This covers internet connected video equipment, including disc players, games consoles, media extenders, set-top boxes and connected television sets. It concludes that there could be 473 million households able to view internet video on their television in 2015.

One of the devices that is expected to contribute to the number of network connected displays is the Blu-Ray disc player, with most new models having a network connection. As well as enabling BD-Live features, they could open up the market for streaming movies.

“With nearly all Blu-ray players manufactured with IP connectivity enabling access to VOD libraries like Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, and CinemaNow, Blu-ray players are more compelling for purchase consideration than they have been since their market debut,” said Rebecca Kurlak, the author of the report. “With the Blu-ray Disc Association releasing the Blu-ray 3D specification a month ago, and the continued decline in the device category’s average selling price, IMS Research expects consumers to welcome Blu-ray players into their homes,”