The number of television sets connected to the internet is forecast to rise from around 300 million at the end of 2013 to almost 760 million by 2018. That will represent over a quarter of the television sets in the world. The latest forecast from Digital TV Research includes smart televisions, games consoles, digital media adapter devices, network connected set-top boxes and disc players.

“Connected TV is undergoing the largest upheaval in its short history,” writes Simon Murray of Digital TV Research. “The introduction of affordable devices such as Google’s Chromecast and Sky’s Now TV are shaking up the market, with connected TV set manufacturers already reducing their prices as a reaction to this increased rivalry. The introduction of three next-generation games consoles adds further competition.”

Connected television forecast to 2018. Source: Digital TV Research

The number of smart television sets will overtake games consoles connected to the internet, rising from around 110 million by the end of 2013 to nearly 260 million, accounting for over a third of all connected television sets.

Games consoles will be boosted by the launch of the next generation Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The total number of network connected games consoles is forecast to rise to over 175 million by 2018.

The number of digital media adapters, in the form of retail set-top boxes and dongle devices, is forecast to increase from around 34 million at the end of 2013 to reach over 125 million in 2018.

Television service providers will also contribute to the number of network connected televisions with hybrid set-top boxes, reaching over 115 million sets by the end of 2018.

Blu-ray disc players will also play a role in the expansion of connected television, with 81 million connections forecast by 2018, which is nearly double the total forecast for the end of 2013.

The United States is expected to have around a third of all connected television sets by the end of 2013, but this proportion will fall to under a quarter by 2018, while China will rise to reach over 16% of connected sets.

The Connected TV Forecasts report is available from Digital TV Research. It includes individual forecasts for 40 countries.