Technology : Smart Tv or Not Smart Tv

We begin a series of articles on what we hope to be the great debates on technology in 2013 with the “Smart Tvs”, a category that odious craze of “smart” to prepend to all to try to honor it has resulted in adding direct connection to internet, applications and browser on the TV and alternative to the traditional remote control interfaces add new remote.

In Applesfera Miguel Michán analyzes the possible entry of Apple in the sector, which has been being prophesied for quite some time. I think that it is good news that did, more or less like, the truth is that the entry of Apple in a category often assumed a strong enough of the same dynamic. In any case, unless the skeptical 3d seems to us we will go with our and the technological debate with television is much more on the “smart” side and in image quality and least in the 3D. Here we go at Vintageinconfidential.com

Televisions that were too

Do they are getting the TV manufacturers operate their proposals for smart tv? Users use applications, surfing, to what use the potential of these devices? We have found the best approach in the “confessions” of any manufacturer who told us that 40% was not directly to connect the TV to the internet despite that allowed and an interesting study of NPD in United States about the habits of those who do connect it.

What they have discovered is that – oh, surprise – people use the functions and applications of internet on your TV to watch more TV. Access to services “over the top” (read from Netflix to Wuaki or YouTube to Vimeo) to see more videos, with a percentage rather minor who listen to music and a small minority who does other things like using the browser, social networking or play any game.

Part of the problem with the functions of smart tv is that many obviate the context in which they are used: generalizing can say that TV is almost always shared device, see together and turn on to disconnect, hoping to not let us work to enjoy the content. What might be called “repanchingarnos on the couch, pressing the button and ready”, while the interaction and socialization go to second screen: extensive information or commented on networks from mobile or tablet.

The conflict comes at the moment in which the smart tvs add complexity, need to move menus, screens, options… multiple keystrokes and waits until you get to where we want. That’s something that most of the users is willing to accept so long as they get something in return for valuable. My impression is that in 2013 which will see by leading manufacturers (Apple is pure speculation at the moment) is a dual effort: simplification of the interface and experience on one side and more implementation of value for users on the table on the other.

Recovering the value of smart tv current

It is likely that we are in a phase in which many things have been tried to see what users are really interested in, but also manufacturers could fall into the mistake of discarding features likely to end up having acceptance but not with the current implementation. My impression is that There are elements that have been clear: complicated is that we are going to sail on TV, you are going to use a search engine (the first failed approach of Google TV was very out of focus) or that are going to use it to interact in social media.

Clear that yes there are very interesting applications as well as allow us to access online video, highlight those of collective entertainment (mostly games, with Angry Birds as Vanguard), but also other options like Karaoke) and the video-conferencing as a Skype, which can that not be used intensively but for some further away from the personal computer user profile can be a good solution having it on TV.

There has also been good progress in integration within the ecosystem of pots inside the home. Here I would stress two, one is the Xbox with Smartglass proposal and another is to have applications as Plex on TV.

The players in the smart tv 2013

Almost every manufacturer has launched its application for smart tv platform. Is the problem that the developers are in addition to the uncertainty of how they will use the users these “smart TVs”, is the incompatibility between them, which raises a lot of development costs if you want to reach all. Historically we have seen many attempts to provide a common solution, starting with Yahoo and Intel and coming to Google TV, whose return aims to be one of the star of CES 2013.

In any case, this is a complicated balance: Samsgung, LG or Panasonic (leaders in smart tv, but we are also here to Sony, Philips and Loewe) will maintain its own platform on the sidelines that can also offer Google tv. For developers who offer content – think at a Filmin or a Netflix or a Wuaki, Amazon, etc. -Google is a competitor that also sells content and that possibly not going to give a lot of play. In fact, the trump card of Google TV is the possible entry of Apple in the sector.

On the other hand we have the debate for the user on If the best option is to bet on a TV connection with applications or delegate the “smart” functions to an external device. Here a variable to take into account is how often renew TV (between five and nine years) front to renew a set-top box much cheaper, in addition to “the updatable” that each device is and what one already has in the lounge (which usually plays in favor of the video game console).

I think that there is no universal solution to this doubt, teles manufacturers have begun in 2012 to consider commitments of the firmware update (see Evolution of Samsung) and that palliate the problem part, although here I advise to look very well model and commitment before having this.

I want my smart tv

In any case, would an article of does too, “” Content is king “and why you need the smart tv is intelligence” to claiming what one expected and understood with respect to a smart tv: come and say “I want to see the next chapter of Homeland that falleth to me, HD and with subtitles,” showing it and that does not require me any extra.

Part of the subject of the TVs will be therefore integrate in a simple and direct content online, closer to the experience of a normal TV to a computer with applications. That is an effort in the interface, but also demands to add intelligence and an indispensable component of local since the rights to the content are negotiated country-to-country.

Is the subject of the interface, where we are witnessing an explosion of proposals: control from mobile or tablet, voice, remote controls that include keyboard or solutions “to the Wii” as the LG (that personally it is one that more I like). Here, my impression is that the complexity makes it to again pay a price: if I have to be watching the mobile screen to change channel I have to remove the view of television and lose the ‘zapping’ instant experience; the subject of the voice is OK (on XBox is very solvent), but at the moment not pound through many menus to do what you want (that is the biggest problem of Xbox as a connected Media Center).

In 2013 I almost think that It is asking manufacturers of smart tvs solutions do less, which simplify and remaining complexity and make the real value provided balance -access the video online and some in games and music – to focus on improving that experience. If today I touched renew TV would have as the first variable quality of the screen and the possibility of smart tv would be still the second, after everything that has to be a “smart TV” is, above all, a good TV.

More information: I recommend to take a look at the special Smart Xataka Home TV to delve into the “State of the art” of the subject.

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