ailon's DevBlog: Development related stuff in my life

Not in Love with Connected TV Idea Anymore

1/2/2012 6:46:07 PM

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In the spring of 2010 I’ve bought Samsung’s TV with Internet@TV feature. (read my review here). I loved it and I loved the fact that I have all the media playing and online stuff in one unit and don’t need to bother with all the wires and extra remotes. At the time I easily ignored the fact that 2009 models didn’t get the software update to the new system and stayed at the previous version.

Fast forward just one year and Samsung released new models with Smart TV feature (and they’ll probably announce a new generation at CES in just a few days). I’m not sure what’s the difference there, but it’s new and I’m not getting it on my TV (at least that’s what I’ve been told by a Samsung representative). My TV still works just fine, I still like it and I didn’t experience any problems with outdated software, codecs, etc… yet.

I’m not sure why Samsung abandons their TV customers even faster than their Android phone customers, but I’m pretty sure that even though I’m comfortable with upgrading my phone every 2 years, there’s no way in hell I’m upgrading my TV every 2 years. I don’t know maybe their end play is in changing mentality so people are comfortable upgrading TVs every 2 years, but I seriously doubt this is doable. They’ll have to make us walk in circles in the desert for 40 years until we all die and new generation accepts the idea.

I expect my TV to “last” for at least 5 years. And there are no signs I will miss anything in it for that period except advancements in those internet connectivity/media playing areas.

I assume the problem is not only the greed of electronics manufacturers but also the fact that processing power, storage, etc. are secondary functions of the TV and they can’t afford to make future proof hardware in the competitive market.

At the same time I can’t afford to upgrade $1000+ TV to get upgrade to the feature perfectly performed by a sub-$100 device. I’d rather throw away that $100 thing when it becomes outdated and buy a new one. And connect it to the same 2 year old TV.

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Another option is to buy a “gaming” console like Xbox 360 or PS3. Or probably wait for the next generation and then buy them. These are more expensive but, unlike TVs, they can (and actually have to) afford to invest in 5-7 years future-proof hardware.

In any case, unless the situation changes, I’ve lost my love for the connected TV idea and think that until the industry gets to that boring stagnation phase, the concept doesn’t make sense. Unless Apple manages to take the idea and make it sexy somehow.

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