Twenty per cent of all television sets available in Europe next year will be able to connect to the Internet, according to the findings of a new report.

Futuresource Consulting has predicted that by the end of 2010 a fifth of all flat panel devices will allow a connection to the Internet and access to online video content.

The report also estimates that the number of installed flat-panel TV sets with a web connection will rise to 15 million devices.

The findings appear in ‘Connected TV & Blu-ray Market Status: Western Europe’, a 60-page strategic report focusing on the market potential for connected TVs and Blu-ray players.

Research consultant David Watkins said: “In Europe, four of the major [consumer electronics] brands have already launched connected TV products that go beyond basic home networking functionality and allow delivery of over-the-top web services.

“This includes basic weather and news pages, social networking, video streaming and catch-up TV. Although initially limited to high-end and mid-range products, we’re going to see web connectivity feature on an increasing number of products next year, becoming standard within two to three years.

“We expect content to be the next battleground and a key driver for connection and usage, particularly through interaction with social networking sites and access to recently released movies.”