Major TV manufacturers are making another stab at persuading their competitors to jointly develop and support a standard platform for smart TV apps. LG and TP Vision today announced the formation of the Smart TV Alliance, a re-branded version of the partnership announced by LG, Philips and Sharp back in September 2011 at the IFA …
"And that's the problem: will smart TV technology ever take off when television makers, even those promoting multi-vendor standards, insist on minimising the compatibility between one year's TVs and the the next"
Simple answer - no.
TVs are not high churn items and users expect them to last a while. The ongoing digital changeover is the only reason they have had to upgrade their televisions for a long time and even with this change, many users are just purchasing a digital set to box and plugging this into their existing television. The move from CRT to flat panel (mainly LCD) is not a forced change but one that is seen as desirable especially now they are commodity items and ever supermarket possible is offloading cheap me-too but perfectly adequate quality systems for low prices. A large percentage of these users also took the opportunity at the same time to switch to High Definition now the standards have settled a bit and the rampant stitch-up of early adopters has passed.
As for consumer satisfaction with smart TVs - from personal experience I don't know of any, especially non-technical, user that is happy with them. This dissatisfaction is either down to awful EPGs and interfaces riddled with adverts, many models missing features such as iPlayer, c4Player and other popular catch up services, through to unstable or just slow to start systems.
I've been interested in a "smart" TV for a while now, and after seeing the lack of support for early models I will instead be using a standalone box to provide the smart functionality I require. At the moment the Raspberry PI with Raspbmc seems to be my cheapest bet, but I reckon what with rumours of Apple entering the market and the possible launch of GoogleTV in the UK there might be some progress on inexpensive updatable standalone smart TV boxes in the near future.
Now all I need is a box that will stream Freeview over IP and I can ditch my cable. Alas my Freeview reception isn't quite good enough to do so yet.
My TV is dumb
I connect smart things to it
Those smart things can be upgraded
divide and conquer wins again with Tech
I agree, I happen to have a Smart TV, I didn't buy it for the smart features, it was just part of the spec. I don't have the patience to faff around with it though, I just use a PC attached to the TV for any media playback (or maybe my PS3 and occasionally my XBOX 360 for Netflix).
It wouldn't be so bad if there was support on my TV for updating the firmware over the internet but nope, I have to wait for it to be broadcast on Freeview, which won't work as I don't have it connected to the terestrial connection.
Beer because I really fancy a nice pint at the moemnt.
They need SONY & Samsung in on that too
Else it's going nowhere.
They could not even standardize remotes.
Please just give us decent open standards
Like most people, I increasingly want online content rather than broadcast (satellite or Freeview), and the current offering and options just doesn't provide what I need.
An open standard for delivering content (e.g. hbbTV) would be great - for example, the iPlayer app on my 2011 Bravia is utter pants compared to the web app, and LoveFilm on the Bravia is okay but nothing like as good as on the PS3. So if an open standard makes it easier for broadcasters/content providers to provide their content and make sure that the UI and user experience is top-notch then that would be fabulous.
However, the one thing that always strikes me is that right now I'm just not in control of what content is available through my TV - I get the online services that Sony deems I should get. Frankly, I don't give a monkey's what Sony think - I want to be able to add any service that I want. It might be e.g. a German or French TV station, Netflix, a future alternative to that, or a future ElReg channel. Irrespective, I want to be in control of available channels/services and that's just not possible right now.
If that can be done through HbbTV then that would be amazing. Ultimately, I just want to be able to add my own chosen repo of broadcaster information (like with XBMC) or enter a custom URL for a chosen broadcaster. With that, it could be fantastic.
Beyond that, full HTML5 rendering must surely go a long way to delivering everything presently required.
Anyway, in the same way as I bought my Humax satellite box, I'll probably buy a set top box which stands a chance of getting custom firmware.
Pass the bogroll...