Internet of Things (IoT) research firm Parks Associates released its annual Market Snapshot, revealing positive trends for smart TV usage in the home. According to the firm’s whitepaper, “Market Snapshot – Smart TVs and the User Experience”, smart TVs are “the most used interface in the home for video viewing, creating a new opportunity for partnerships to enhance the consumer experience.”

The release reveals an interesting smart TV popularity growth, even as media attention focuses primarily on streaming media players (SMPs) such as the Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV. According to Parks Associates, those devices have also gained in popularity, but smart TVs appear to be the preferred device for streaming video at home.

According to Parks Associates, as of 2017, 45% of U.S. households have a smart TV. Among those with a smart TV, over 35% use their smart TV as their primary video streaming device. SMPs make up less than 30% of devices used.

Users Favor Smarts TVs Due to Ease of Use

Parks Associates also reports that consumers prefer “connected, in-home entertainment devices” because these devices tend to be easier to navigate. When referring to in-home entertainment devices, Parks Associates is referring to internet-connected streaming devices. Among U.S. broadband households responding to a Parks Associates survey, over 60% believe that all media players, including smart TVs and SMPs, make it easier to find content. Slightly more than 40% said the same of smart TVs alone.

Among the data Parks Associates reports is a steep decline in the use of gaming consoles for video streaming. In 2015, gaming consoles were the most popular video streaming device, representing more than 35% of U.S. broadband households. As of Q1 2017, gaming consoles now represent less than 30%, effectively equivalent to streaming media players.

Going forward, Parks Associates also notes that over 50% of consumers want more voice control added to their entertainment devices and smart home devices.