back to article Panasonic will go Firefox OS for TVs

Panasonic has used CES to announce that it's going to work with Mozilla to build smart TVs based on the Firefox OS. Whatever you think about smart TVs, the vendors remain utterly committed to the idea that more computing power and a user interface driven through the remote control is the future of the idiot box. To date, much …

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Bronze badge
Happy

Good news

After the rather disappointing hardware that Firefox OS came with up to now, this should give it quite a boost. Let's hope they put in some decent hardware!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good news

Or is it?

Panasonic make good TVs but fail to update or increase the apps available.

For instance we get BBC iplayer bit where is the itv, c4, or 5 catch up.

Instead it is plastered with useless apps.

They fail to support products after they are a year old.

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Bronze badge

Re: Good news

They fail to support products after they are a year old.

That's where adopting Firefox OS might benefit consumers the most: them geeks are bound to be on Panasonic's (and other manufacturer's) heels, pestering them until they get updates pushed.

I have long thought that the most promising thing about Firefox OS is being backed by Mozilla. Rather than drown in pointless chair-shuffling (like JIL, BONDI, WAC or anything the carriers ever come up with) or let the manufacturers have their fragmenting, non-updating ways so long as they bring in users (like Google does with Android), the geeks at Mozilla are genuinely motivated to go after the manufacturers and ensure they update their devices. We have yet to see if they'll actually get them to do it, but damned if they won't try.

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Anonymous Coward

Just what smart TV programmers deserve

Having worked in a project related to a national "standard" for smart TV apps, I say hooray Panasonic.

To be fair, I think their bid to recast the TV as the control panel of the smart home is a pipe dream – not because the idea is without merit, but simply because the smart home, if it ever comes about, will be all about punters not controlling stuff. Just like smart phones are computers the user has seldom any control of, home automation solutions will only be successful if they can do without (and on occasion fight off) human attempts at (mis)directing it.

No, what I'm thinking about are those cheap-ass polling apps and the like, written on behalf of TV channels for their variety programs and sports broadcasts, whose programmers often rival the show writers / commentators in incoherence. Those are people who don't deserve good things; why waste a cutting-edge (emphasis on the "cutting") semantics-aware markup language on them? HTML will do just fine. Likewise, writing simple UI callbacks is about the only thing JavaScript is marginally good for; why the Hell we have to get the hacks to half-learn a new, half-defined, half-documented script language?

So go Panasonic go, let slip the web monkeys, and crush those reinvent-the-wheel fools under the steamroll of commoditized technology. That'll show 'em!

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Silver badge

It's not about 'Smarter TVs'

It's just that manufacturers have a wet dream of making televisions that go obsolete as fast as other consumer devices.

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FirefoxOS?

So channel changing will become slower over time and I'll need to restart my TV every week to make it fast again?

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JDX
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Re: FirefoxOS?

I hope you turn your TV off every day...

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Silver badge

@JDX

Turning your TV off doesn't turn it OFF, it puts it in standby mode - that wouldn't help any more than putting than suspending your laptop makes Firefox run faster. It would need to have the plug pulled for a moment to give it a real restart. If there's a menu item to "restart" the TV, you'll know to avoid buying it :)

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Unhappy

Why cant I buy

.....a 60" monitor.

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Silver badge

Re: Why cant I buy

Exactly - a very high quality, but dumb, monitor, and a discrete box which can be updated elsewhere - we can use displays wirelessly, and upgrade a cheap box as often as necessary as that side of the technology is developing rapidly, and the monitor every decade or so when there's a step change in the display technology.

But that wouldn't make as much money for the vendors which rely on in-built obsolescence to pump their bottom lines.

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Re: Why cant I buy

Feeling a bit paranoid? (that's maybe fair after the LG phone-home reports mind you)

There is no reason you can't use a 60" TV as a 60" monitor. That's what HDMI is for. Plug in the raspberry pi (or solution of your choice), ignore all the built-in stuff.

Let's face it, the 'smart' bit in a TV probably only adds a few quid to the cost of an already extremely expensive bit of kit, so the manufacturers will always do it if it's a cheap way to convince a large segment of the market that their TV is worth having. It doesn't mean you have to use it.

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Silver badge

Re: Why cant I buy

the problem is, most of the ones we see for sale are limited to 1080p.

We had better res monitors back when TVs broadcast as low definition.

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too slow

I have a Sony 'smart' TV and after turning it on you cannot change channel for unto a minute while it 'boots' up to allow be access to a load of crap that I will never use

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I'm glad to see a "real" OS in a TV, but why not Android, or even Roku? Why yet another OS? Why dump another platform on developers to further fragment the planet?

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Please Mozilla, make sure there is something in the contract about not letting Panasonic plaster adverts over the EPG if they use Firefox OS.

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If we absolutely MUST have this "smart" TV stuff pushed at us, could manufacturers please, please please allow us to customise the experience properly?

Just something like a simple desktop, no built in ads or spyware.

And a decent EPG (Humax stylee?)

That is all.

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