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back to article Half of UK smart TV owners don't know what the 'smart' bit is for

More bad news for TV makers and smart-telly fans: only a third of Brits planning to buy a smart TV are doing so to make use of its internet connectivity. It gets worse: only half (53 per cent) of smart-telly owners know what the 'smart' but is actually for. Still, some who don't have manager to connect their smart sets to the …

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writing

And people some write who articles Reg on the here; don't read rubbish their reading before post they.

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DJV

Re: writing

Yes, come back proof-reading moderatrix before all is lost!

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Buy what you're told to

> You're not, after all, going to buy a crap TV just because it can connect to the internet.

But a lot of people do buy a crap TV because the nice person in the shop tells them how wonderful it is.

A lot of people have their TV adjusted completely wrongly. Colours (set to the garish "demo" mode), sound may or may not be stereo, treble/bass heavy and until recently may even be watching analog channels (Hi, Mum!), no matter how often their diligent and loving sons explain the "benefits" of digital, HD and even calibrate the set with test images. They know what they like and no amount of telling will convince them otherwise.

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Re: Buy what you're told to

My mother has a son like you. He gave up in the end.

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Anonymous Coward

I can believe that ... my parents-in-law got a Freeview HDD recorder ~ 4 years ago. Took them ages to understand that there were extra channels on freeview (and to be honest, still don't seem to have got it as when we visit and they try to find the TV listings to find when the news is on next then they seem mystified when we comment that the news will be on BBC news24 right now) and its only in the last 12 months that they've worked how to select programs to record from the program guide .... they've yet to make the step to understand that you can watch something they've already recorded when its recording!

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On the other hand my parents, who are presumably of a similar age (60s or so) took the the whole "pause live TV" like a fish to water and absolutely love everything about these digital doohickeys, though they use computers for the internet. A TV is just no good for that.

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+1 on that

Take my mum. Please, take her. She puts the "Ludd" back into "Luddite" but is probably the world's digi-video-recorder champion!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: +1 on that

My mum and mother in law are late 70s, also luddites but took to digital video recorders immediately.

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old folksview

The recent London Freeview changeover led to several calls from older friends (and one younger) complaining that BBC2 had disappeared or, later, that they had no channels at all.

For people used to treating a TV like a toaster, switching to Freeview has been a a minor trauma. And sadly only a few of all those many extra channels make the extra effort worthwhile.

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WTF?

It gets better...

Girlfriend's dad bought a 47" 3D TV a week ago.

No glasses.

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Anonymous Coward

Who wants to use a Walled Garden?

If I want to access the Internet, then I do not want the box I am using to constrain my choice, which then determines the choice of boxes I use - i.e. a PC rather than a TV.

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Go

Re: Who wants to use a Walled Garden?

Precisely. I'd rather put the extra "smart" part towards building a Media Center PC. 2 years after you buy your TV, what's the odds that Samsung or Sony will add services to existing sets, vs adding them just to new ones?

I've been researching different ways to get services like Lovefilm, Netflix, iTunes movies and so forth the conclusion is that the only thing that really works is a PC. It might cost a bit more, but it is guaranteed to work for just about everything and will continue to do so, regardless of what comes around the corner for many years.

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Coffee/keyboard

Needs more input

The biggest problem I've found with my 'smart' TV is that it's not so much the TV but the input device that comes with it / you can pair with DLNA. If I'm looking for a particular show/film and want to search for it on my TV I'm forced to use the remote control or virtual remote control. What I actually need is access to a virtual / physical keyboard to input my characters.

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Happy

try yer phone

There is suppose to be an android app for that!!

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Big Brother

Re: Needs more input

Many of the TVs, at least from Philips, can use USB or Bluetooth keyboards. Though, to be honest I don't think keyboards are the right kind of interface for tellies. Be interesting to see what they come up with gesture control. Although that is likely to be another patent minefield: on asking Philips why I am no longer able to hide channels or remove useless "apps" they told me that this was a licensing issue and they had had to remove the function. I guess we're only months away from being automatically logged into one of the identity traders as soon as we switch the machine on, so that "our friends" know exactly what we're watching without us needing to press any buttons.

I've got other problems with DLNA, or more specifically with WiFi - apparently my DLNA server occasionally closes the connection because the telly fails to acknowledge an ICMP request. Yay, streaming over until connection is reinitialised. Philips is aware of the issue but doesn't seem to think it's their problem.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: try yer phone

* SUPPOSED to be

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Stop

just a screen please

Manufacturer (I work for phone) shove loads of silly programs in them. just use an xbox or ps3 if you want real entertainment system. i'd rather pay for just a great screen.

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Re: just a screen please

I agree however most numpties don't know or care.

The manufacturers like it this way, they can charge over the odds for something they'll never use.

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Anonymous Coward

My dad(in his 60's) has a load of fancy kit in his living room, high end tv, blu-ray, etc. None of it is connected to the internet because he doesn't have the networking know-how.

His broadband connection goes to a PC in his attic, and he's just about figured out the wireless for a laptop, but there's no way he can set up a wireless bridge, or the powerline plus switch, he'd need to get it all connected up. I could do it for him, but I wouldn't want to have to try and troubleshoot it if anything went wrong.

You can put as much internet connectivity as you like on a tv/dvd player etc, but if a 'normal' person doesn't have any connections in the room it's in, they can't use it.

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My gripe with LG's Smart offerings is why the hell do they think I want Major League Baseball built into my telly? Oh yea, and using an IR remote to use these features is like pulling teeth. I want a wifi/wireless/bluetooth controller with a qwerty keyboard and wii like pointer movement. And as for pushing the smart element, why don't they turn the tv function into another smart application and make blur the lines between the two?

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Sounds like an opportunity for Apple...

... that is all.

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"internet TV" button

My Sony smart TV has an "internet TV" button on the remote. Thats quite easy to press.

Although i would say navigating content on the BBC iplayer can be a problem!

The other problem is the bandwidth it consumes. At approx 1Gb per hour watching BBC iplayer HD content it is very hungry and can cost if you are not on an unlimted deal

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Holmes

Re: "internet TV" button

From the department of the bleeding obvious:

At approx 1Gb per hour watching BBC iplayer HD content it is very hungry and can cost if you are not on an unlimted deal

You don't say! I guess there will be those unable to join the dots: don't do online video without a real flatrate.

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Anonymous Coward

Do you want to 'be smart' with your TV?

At the moment this probably means NOT connecting it to the internet. As has been commented details about everything you watch is probably being harvested by the Ad mongers.

Unless you can be sure of blocking that (and how many of us have the time...) then I'd say leave the frigging thing off the internet and use it as a receiver only.

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Unimpressed with my Samsung SMART TV

To be fair, the picture's great and I use a separate amp for sound, so I'm happy there. But the 'smart' part of the TV is really weak.

iPlayer is functional and I do use that a lot. Lovefilm's ok, but they a have hardly any decent content. Everything else is rubbish. The selection of apps is very limited and none of them are interesting, just shit like horoscopes. The bit that winds me up most, though, is that you can use your iPhone as a keyboard input. That sounds handy, except that when you use something like the built in Twitter app, it has a delay of around five seconds per typed character.

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FAIL

Re: Unimpressed with my Samsung SMART TV

Exactly the same here. Bought a £1,000 TV, but for the general picture and UPNP part - which I am happy with overall. I use iPlayer now and again and have Skype installed and on in the background - but the rest is basiccally a pile of shite. Not checked, but I expect all the web traffic is proxied via Korea - only that could explain the stupid speed of the web browser and some of the other apps.

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FAIL

If only.....................

Openreach could deliver more than 600Kbits/S.

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Anonymous Coward

I think I understood some of this article.

I have PC's and laptops in most rooms. Why would I want a rubbish crippled UI to make an half arsed attempt at viewing some watered down websites? I don't even bother using the PS3 for this very reason, which is much better than most smart TV's.

It's marketing hype, which people lap up. Like phones, why do people do everything on a poor screen with a rubbish keyboard? Yes it's convenient, but the way things are to be? Hopefully not.

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Forget the apps

TVs with network connections should not become e-mail clients and terminals. But they can be quite nice VoD clients* or film rental devices**. That such clients are written to use some form of HTML can be regarded as coincidental.

* avoid the need to have to program or even own a recorder for your favourite programs

** hope to have a decent selection of films in HD to watch and avoid having go the video shop. Lucky here that MaxDome has a good selection in HD and with English soundtracks. Probably only a matter of time until they scrap that luxury and forcefeed dreadful dubbing on us.

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HD, HDD, DLNA, uPnP, HTTP, USB, CAT5, 802.11n and potentially also FTP, SSH, VPN and SSL. If the average consumer wants the most bang for their buck they are going to need an IT Techie (and I do mean IT, not the guys at Currys).

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Coat

Surely all they need is one of the new breed of "digital plumbers"?

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Holmes

Thank you El Reg

This has to be one of the first articles to point out he obvious.

We want the larger, lighter, gorilla glass, best possible picture TV for just that. Watching tv.

Streaming flicks from the web? No thanks. Why? Because of the compression, even upscaled they look like shit.

I'll rent the blu ray copy, or get it from cable or sat.

I want my 2HD or 4HD resolution because I enjoy having a clean crisp picture.

Do I want 3D? No thank you.

Do I want to buy an add on camera so I can Skype? No, although if I can get a sound activated camera w auto focus, I may do it for business teleconferencing ...

But I digress. Maybe this survey will be a clue by four wake up call for tv manufactures.

Build better pictures, less focus on useless unwanted gadgets.

Sherlock, because I'm stating the obvious

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Thank you El Reg

Better picture, don't be silly useless unwanted gadgets are much much cheaper.

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Wifi

So how many smart TVs aren't connected because people can't work out how to connect it to their router at the other side of the room?

Despite the quite low cost of wifi nowadays it seems a lot of the manufacturers are determined to keep it as a feature of their "premium" Smart TVs or an optional overpriced USB dongle (and of course you *have* to use the manufacturer's dongle).

That said I think the "don't know how to connect the TV to the net, don't care" faction is probably larger than the "I know how to connect the TV to the net, but it is impractical in my house" faction. Although catch up TV like iPlayer would presumably be quite a killer app.

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Re: Wifi

Completely agree - came to the comments to make exactly this point!

My parents bought a 'Smart' TV a year or two ago which is effectively useless because the mfr wanted to gouge another £60 out of them for a WiFi adaptor. When people don't know what exactly they're going to get for that extra outlay, most aren't going to bother.

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Overpriced dongles....

1: Powerline networking

or

2: Ethernet to a Wireless Access Point setup as a station.

The bandwidth on wireless is crap, especially if there are a few devices using it. (Remember, lowest negotiated speed sets the speed for ALL stations, so that shitty signal to the laptop in the kitchen is dragging everything else down)

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Anonymous Coward

"Smart TV" ? What is smart about it then ? I have a "Smart" mobile handset but it is, "as dumb as arseholes". Forever claiming I pressed keys I didn't, or making out I didn't press ones I did, Always on some screen that's not been asked for, or in Landscape view when I want Portrait, or asking me to confirm deleting a conversation I have no intention of deleting and haven't asked to etc. etc. etc. If this is an example of "Smart" I'm going to give so called "Smart TVs" a wide berth. They'll probably turn channels over or switch off when it decides you ought to want to.

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Happy

I had similar experiences to you

When I used to use a Windows Mobile 6 device.

Now on Android 4.0 and it is very close to everything I expect.

You need to get a new phone, man.

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Like Smart cars....

... they aren't actually smart, they just seem that way compared with the people who buy them.

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New smart TV arrives tomorrow

Bought for picture quality. The smartness is a waste of space unless I can re-flash it with software I trust.

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A smart tv would learn what program's I liked then record shows of that ilk, it would discover my wireless router and ask me for the wireless key and when I fall asleep it would lower the volume gradually then go into standby mode, recording what I missed.

That's the definition of 'smart' I could accept, not what the marketing droids call 'smart'.

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