Smart TVs may be relatively new from a consumer point of view, but in a new Green Paper the European Commission suggests that by 2016 most of Europe's TVs will be smart, connected devices.
The EU predicts that the explosion of smart TVs will dramatically change the industry and this may require government-level monitoring and possibly intervention. As part of this early move, the EU is looking for data on how TV is currently watched and how industry matters like exclusivity deals and digital content rights currently impact viewers.
TechCrunch quotes Neelie Kroes, vice president of the Commission, who notes "Convergence between sectors means people can enjoy a wider choice of great content – but it also creates disruptions and challenges." Previously the EU has moved to force the region's national music industries to adjust their long-held licensing rules to make cross-border licensing simpler and cheaper--partly in response to the dramatic changes caused by digital music.
Major smart TV efforts have been rumored for 2013 from Apple, Samsung and Intel.