Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Feb 2013 14:15 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes "LG said today it was acquiring WebOS from Hewlett-Packard, with the intention to use the operating system not for its mobile phones, but in its smart televisions. With the deal, LG obtains the source code for WebOS, related documentation, engineering talent, and related WebOS Web sites. LG also gets HP licenses for use with its WebOS products, and patents HP obtained from Palm. The financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed." Completely and utterly pointless. Smart TVs are a dead end. The TV should just remain a dumb receiver for input - whether from a computer or console via cables, or wirelessly from a smartphone or tablet. Our phones and tablets are already smart so TVs don't have to be.
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avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23

What a weird argument, would you agree to it if I rephrased it as "My friend and I are already smart, so you don't have to be"?

TV's should get a lot smarter, but how HP ever convinced LG that webOS was the way to make that happen is beyond me

Reply Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

The problem with "smart tv's" is that they aren't smart they are terrible and not likely to get smart enough to be usable any time soon. Its actually much better to put the intelligence in an external device that can be updated/swapped out regularly. Its sort of like how dumb keyboards are better than "smart" voice recognition. Maybe not forever, but right now the technology isn't smart enough. Definitively not worth paying a premium for.

Reply Score: 6

FunkyELF Member since:
2006-07-26

Its actually much better to put the intelligence in an external device that can be updated/swapped out regularly.


It is better for consumers, but what is better for business.
You have to put your TV on display next to other TVs that have Facebook built in.

I agree that it is much better for consumers. Same thing with automobiles. I don't want a big touch screen with GPS, navigation and mp3 playback.
I want a slot for me to dock whatever I want there.

Reply Score: 4

bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

Most people's use of a computer basically boils down to facebook... For this use a tablet is more than adequate, as is a TV, and both are far more consumer friendly than a noisy computer running an OS that requires third party additions and regular maintenance on the part of the user to stop it from becoming malware infested.
Plus most people already have a TV, and these features don't cost much if anything extra to implement over a dumb TV set, so before too long all of them will have such features.

Look at camera phones, they cannot compare to a high quality camera but they are more than adequate for 95% of users, so very few end users buy separate cameras anymore.

Reply Score: 4

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

I guess it's all about extended web programming - frameworks and the web engine (mostly patents I guess). They are the way to deliver TV apps.
There's also people involved.
LG need something to compete with Samsung (which slowly becomes a defacto standard in smart TV business), and they have proven time and again they are completely inept as a software house as evident by crapware that runs their smartphones.

As for smart mobile devices driving TV experience, the sheer power stress that transmitting HD signal wireless puts to the battery makes this approach unpractical for years to come.
In fact in integrating with online streaming services, it's the smartphone that's redundant part here, not TV.

Edited 2013-02-26 09:25 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

dsmogor,

"As for smart mobile devices driving TV experience, the sheer power stress that transmitting HD signal wireless puts to the battery makes this approach unpractical for years to come."


Not only that, but consider a practical scenario for a tablet to play a streaming movie on the TV.

he tablet not only needs to transmit to the TV, but also needs to pull from the video source at the same time. On wifi networks this doubles the bandwidth load. If trans-coding is needed between the source and the (dumb) TV interface, that adds even more processor load.


"In fact in integrating with online streaming services, it's the smartphone that's redundant part here, not TV."

That's true, the tablet isn't going to be very usable as a tablet while someone's streaming media to the TV.

Edit: Does anyone know if today's tablets are able to display different content on the screen and HDMI ports at the same time?

Edited 2013-02-26 15:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2

thegman Member since:
2007-01-30

I agree, TVs need to be a lot better than they are, but I don't doubt for a second that Smart TVs will be a step in the wrong direction.

Reply Score: 2

Got to agree about smart TVs
by andrewclunn on Mon 25th Feb 2013 14:32 UTC
andrewclunn
Member since:
2012-11-05

Nothing is more frustrating than 'smart' devices that have one simple job, that they then can't do properly because they have too many features (aka bloatware). Printers are a good example of this. TVs are now as well. Volume, input source, on and off. That's all a new monitor / TV should need. (No, I didn't include channels because if you're using an antenna, then you're not buying new TVs anyways). Anything else is just asking for more ways for the damn thing to fail.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Got to agree about smart TVs
by Lobotomik on Mon 25th Feb 2013 14:48 UTC in reply to "Got to agree about smart TVs"
Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

What's with the antenna? Hundreds of millions of europeans, not to talk about the rest of the world, are not using cable or net TV. Cable and sat did have channels, last I heard, anyway.

I agree about the undesirability of smart TVs anyway. TV sets should last many, many years, and their built-in smart TV computers are obsolete the day after you buy them. I understand that TV makers love built-in obsolescence, but for users and for the environment it is much better to use an external box, which you can get nowadays for less than 50€, and which you can dispose of in two years time if you want to have a better one.

Reply Score: 4

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Accept TV's aren't the only Smart Devices.

This is being built into things like Blu-ray players, Set-top boxes.

There is nothing stopping them updating the OS via the internet either.

Reply Score: 4

Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

I really dislike the idea of twenty different smartish devices thrown together, all conspiring to get my attention by offering mostly the same services, at different degrees of obsolescence. Should I watch Netflix on the games console, the SmartTV, the PVR, my cellphone via HDMI, or my tablet via Miracast?

When I spend 800€ in a new TV, I would much rather they all went to pay for size and image quality, but unless you go for the cheapest of the cheapest there is no way to skip the SmartTV and the 3D tax.

And when in two years time that TV set looks just about as good as the new ones, but its smart guts are hopelessly outdated, I will need an external SmartTV box anyway. And then, for years I will have to put up with a sad unneeded bunch of obsolete buttons in the remote and a TV user interface cluttered with useless crap. But fat chance if they think I will buy a new TV just to save me that trouble.

Reply Score: 3

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Actually most manufacturers are differentiating on the design not the specs.

Also I don't think you are quite getting the idea of a convergence device.

Reply Score: 2

Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

Oh ain't I? I should've asked you first. If I only could understand what you mean.

But I think you don't quite get that what I don't want is to put a mediocre convergence device within an expensive TV set where I cannot upgrade it without replacing the whole thing.

Reply Score: 2

swift11 Member since:
2012-08-23

Most people here don't seem to read the comments so I'll repeat a previous post: Samsung has an "evolution kit"

Reply Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Then just don't use the SMART part of the TV ... DONE!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Got to agree about smart TVs
by roblearns on Mon 25th Feb 2013 16:32 UTC in reply to "Got to agree about smart TVs"
roblearns Member since:
2010-09-13

Well - I use an antenna and I change the channel.

I think you are mistaken, if you use an antenna, you had to buy a new tv - or at least a converter box, because tv channels are no longer broadcast in analog - at least in the U.S.

So, yeah, I bought a new TV and I use antenna, and why not, in digital you get crystal clear reception in HD - and for free.

I supplement that with Netflix - because I like movies and shows on demand - but yeah - not sure why the assumption about antenna users not buying tv's.

I definately buy new tv's because my antenna usage is just to pick up the high quality free stuff - I also purchase, I admit still DVD, not blu-ray, new movies and enjoy watching paid content as well.

I may switch to blu-ray or may just do Apple tv - don't know yet, the thing about blu-ray is I'm into a lot of foreign language movies that just haven't come out on blu-ray.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Got to agree about smart TVs
by Macrat on Tue 26th Feb 2013 03:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Got to agree about smart TVs"
Macrat Member since:
2006-03-27


So, yeah, I bought a new TV and I use antenna, and why not, in digital you get crystal clear reception in HD - and for free.


Lucky for you to be in range of a signal.

Even if you live in a large city, the broadcast towers can be too far away to get over the air TV.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Got to agree about smart TVs
by Brendan on Tue 26th Feb 2013 08:40 UTC in reply to "Got to agree about smart TVs"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

Volume, input source, on and off. That's all a new monitor / TV should need.


Half the inputs are digital now (e.g. "digital TV" where something like MPEG decompression is needed). There's also image scaling involved (e.g. making an old 4:3 source fit on a 16:9 screen by stretching or "letter boxing"). Then there's the on screen display - showing which channel the user just switched to, but also doing things like subtitles and telling the user which program they're watching. For modern systems there's also an electronic program guide. Even a simple monitor (no tuner) needs a chip to tell the computer which video modes it supports.

What this all adds up to is that you need a CPU in your TV, even if it is a "dumb" TV.

Once you've got a CPU in your TV, it's relatively easy and cheap to use it for extra features; like allowing you to play (and maybe record) videos from a USB flash stick or network connection, allowing "firmware updates" in case there's bugs (cheaper than a product recall), etc. It's only a small step from there to things like internet browsers.

- Brendan

Reply Score: 4

Comment by frood
by frood on Mon 25th Feb 2013 14:46 UTC
frood
Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree with Thom as well here. My iPod is my set-top box now. The Apple TV just receives the stream.

Reply Score: 2

So Sad
by runjorel on Mon 25th Feb 2013 14:53 UTC
runjorel
Member since:
2009-02-09

This is truly a sad day for me. Android and iOS and even WP8 have come a long way and I appreciate them for what they are. But I still look at WebOS and think, "That makes more sense to me". I think WebOS was prettier too. The hardware sucked. But I still think WebOS had something.

Reply Score: 1

Invincible Cow
Member since:
2006-06-24

"Our phones and tablets are already smart so TVs don't have to be."

I don't have a smartphone. I don't have a tablet. But if I had, I'd surely expect my futuristic TV to be able to stream music from those devices, and in that case, it makes sense to make it a smart TV, unless I have a separate computer connected to it. (Which I do happen to have ... but average consumers won't.)

Many customers want something simple. If they can buy a TV with digital decoder, pvr, netflix and similar possibilities embedded, instead of buying a separate set-top box, they will.

Edited 2013-02-25 15:07 UTC

Reply Score: 3

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I don't have a smartphone. I don't have a tablet. But if I had, I'd surely expect my futuristic TV to be able to stream music from those devices, and in that case, it makes sense to make it a smart TV, unless I have a separate computer connected to it. (Which I do happen to have ... but average consumers won't.)

Many customers want something simple. If they can buy a TV with digital decoder, pvr, netflix and similar possibilities embedded, instead of buying a separate set-top box, they will.


These days, you can buy a box for $50-$70 that can play Netflix and its ilk. Even my computer-illiterate parents can work a Roku-like device. You don't need all this crap built into the TV.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

"These days, you can buy a box for $50-$70 that can play Netflix and its ilk. Even my computer-illiterate parents can work a Roku-like device. You don't need all this crap built into the TV."

Well it's inherently true that anything a smart TV could do could also be done with a dumb TV + external box (*). But is this really supposed to be an argument against integrated smart tvs?

Not to exaggerate the analogy, but the modern laptop itself is the pinnacle of this notion that everything should be built in to minimizing the dependence of external addons. Very few consumers object to having these features built in even if they don't intend to use them (SD card, camera, mic, bluetooth, etc).

It seems to me the primary reason to reject a smarttv is on the basis that it costs more, but people can still buy dumb TVs with external addons if that's what they want to do. In time, I believe smart features will become cheap enough to throw into all TVs whether they get used or not. And like with laptops, most of us will eventually appreciate the integration.

* Edit: please let us set the standard for smart tvs higher than the roku player...it's not good at interoperability between devices like a smart tv should be.

Edited 2013-02-26 05:22 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

Not to exaggerate the analogy, but the modern laptop itself is the pinnacle of this notion that everything should be built in to minimizing the dependence of external addons. Very few consumers object to having these features built in even if they don't intend to use them (SD card, camera, mic, bluetooth, etc).

You have to go all the way with your analogy. In smarttvs you get something that looks like the real thing(a tablet) but isn't as fast, fun, smooth, easy etc.
So your smart laptop would have an sd card, camera, mic, bluetooth that are of such low quality that you would rather attach a seperate sd card, camera, mic, bluetooth.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Fergy,

"You have to go all the way with your analogy. In smarttvs you get something that looks like the real thing(a tablet) but isn't as fast, fun, smooth, easy etc."


That's completely presumptuous isn't it? Why in the world would the TV have to be less powerful? In fact without the power constraints, it's likely the smart tvs can afford to use more powerful chips/more cores than the portable counterparts.

"So your smart laptop would have an sd card, camera, mic, bluetooth that are of such low quality that you would rather attach a seperate sd card, camera, mic, bluetooth."


"Would have"?? Haha, it sounds like your speaking hypothetically...It's not hypothetical at all and in fact I'm much happier with the integrated laptop I have today than the old one I had that didn't have a webcam or mic.

I don't understand what your complaint is though because you can still use external peripherals when you want to. However, if you buy a laptop meeting your specs in the first place then you won't need them. Just as laptops come in many feature combinations, so will smart tvs. If someone wants to cheap out on integrated features, that's their right, ultimately noone should expect to get more than what they pay for.

In the end, do you agree it should be left to the consumer's choice? I personally would buy a TV with an integrated computer for NAS streaming (more points for an open/hackable unit). We're entering an era where such functionality should be offered as an integrated feature especially as the cost differential becomes insignificant.


I mentioned it already but I think it's such a good idea so I'll mention it again: Ideally the smart tv computer would be located in a user serviceable slot that could be upgraded independently from the rest of the TV. This could be even less wasteful than a tablet where a CPU upgrade implies throwing away the peripherals like a touchscreen, speakers, cameras, battery, etc.

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I mentioned it already but I think it's such a good idea so I'll mention it again: Ideally the smart tv computer would be located in a user serviceable slot that could be upgraded independently from the rest of the TV.


So in other words, you're advocating having a box in a slot that you upgrade every few years, vs a box that you hook up to an HDMI port? I guess I'm failing to see the difference. The advantage to an external box is that you can use any one of them that you want. If you had, for example, an LG smart tv that could be upgraded via a slot in the TV, those upgrades are going to come from LG, and they're either going to charge through the nose for them, or stop providing upgrades when they think you need to buy a new TV. We see this kind of thing on Android devices all the time.

Of course, ideally, we'd have a standard that all smart TVs would use so that you can use anyone's box to put in the slot, but again, even assuming that pipe dream were to become a reality, we're right back to where we originally started from. So we might as well just use the HDMI port as we do now.

As for everything being integrated, if you get a good tv, it's likely to last for 8-10 years, and there's no way manufacturers are going to keep the updgrades coming that long. With an external box, you can simply replace it as needed every few years or so, to get access to all of the latest streaming services. If you got a TV a few years ago with Netflix and Amazon, when Hulu was barely a blip on the radar, you probably had to get an external box anyway if you wanted access to it.

Edited 2013-02-26 19:22 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

"So in other words, you're advocating having a box in a slot that you upgrade every few years, vs a box that you hook up to an HDMI port? I guess I'm failing to see the difference."

Like I said before, it's not different. In terms of capability a dumb tv+external box could be identical to a smarttv.

I don't think most people will actually need to/want to upgrade the smarttv computer that regularly, but it would be a good idea to appease people like you who feel like it's important.


A big problem with the non-integrated external solution, is that every external box tries to bringing different "smarttv" features to the table to make up for dumb-tv deficiencies, but none will be well integrated for the overall experience because they're all layered on top of each other like a recursive RDP session. Which device controls things as basic as volume, picture in picture, channel, selection, online moving streaming, nas streaming, etc.

Without integration, these always end up producing a fragmented solution where some remotes are for this function, others are for that function, I might like to play a wii game with tv in the corner but that requires that I rewire the damn boxes because the cable box is connected to a DVR which is used as a front end for the wii but doesn't do picture and picture or whatever... Then I need another device for streaming, etc. We have to actually remember how everything is wired in order to know how to use it correctly. This fragmentation results in a jarring experience and I've had many occasions to curse the dumb TV's at not having any good integration.

Maybe standards can come into play to make smart devices inter-operate much better than they do today, but this would only increase the logic in deploying smart tvs to make use of it. Integration is a key selling point without the requirement of (what I consider) a ridiculous array of set top boxes.

Edited 2013-02-26 20:29 UTC

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

So what, then... you gonna build a Roku, blu ray player, A/V receiver, game console, cable box, etc. all into the TV? You're gonna have a 'jack of all trades, master of none' device. And that TV is gonna cost an arm and a leg as well. And probably won't receive updates either beyond a year or two. And I can't imagine if one of those components break and can't be repaired... you'd have to replace the entire TV.

Reply Score: 1

Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

I mentioned it already but I think it's such a good idea so I'll mention it again: Ideally the smart tv computer would be located in a user serviceable slot that could be upgraded independently from the rest of the TV. This could be even less wasteful than a tablet where a CPU upgrade implies throwing away the peripherals like a touchscreen, speakers, cameras, battery, etc.

And that is exactly what the people who don't want a smarttv want. Multiple companies could build the best smarttv card and could all provide their own software. So your tv remains a dumb device just like your pc monitor but you can drive it with a small settopbox that slots in the tv.

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Fergy,

"And that is exactly what the people who don't want a smarttv want."

Not sure how you missed it, but *I* want a smart tv and it *is* what I want. Ideally the smart tv computers would be interchangeable between brands, but that's probably a very long ways off after one brand wins the market over and becomes a defacto standard with everyone building peripherals for it. We could do better if everyone would only work together towards a unified standard today, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards with today's manufacturers wanting exclusive control over the entire experience.

Edit: It's kind of too bad, third parties are often ahead of the manufacturers with regards to innovating software, and this is true whether the smart tv is integrated or external.

Edited 2013-02-26 22:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

Fergy,

"And that is exactly what the people who don't want a smarttv want."

Not sure how you missed it, but *I* want a smart tv and it *is* what I want. Ideally the smart tv computers would be interchangeable between brands, but that's probably a very long ways off after one brand wins the market over and becomes a defacto standard. We could do better if everyone would only work together towards a unified standard, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards with today's manufacturers wanting exclusive control over the entire experience.

The problem with smarttvs is that the 'smart' is integrated. If you have removable smarts you don't have a smarttv anymore. At best you have a tv with supplied settop box.

Reply Score: 3

Disagree with you here Thom
by Alfman on Mon 25th Feb 2013 15:15 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

There's definitely a reason to have smart tvs.

Just the other day I wanted to play video from my camera, but I ended up not doing it because I couldn't be bothered to find a cable to hook up the camera's proprietary composite output connector. I cannot count how many times I've wanted to stream movies off of my NAS. The Wii does network streaming but it's locked to commercial streaming services, same deal with the roku. I'm not asserting no devices can do it, or could be hacked to do it, but I do think it's about time such functionality be incorporated into TVs.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Disagree with you here Thom
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 25th Feb 2013 15:22 UTC in reply to "Disagree with you here Thom"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Nothing you just said requires a smart TV. All we need is an open, cheap standard for wireless AV as an equivalent to HDMI.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Disagree with you here Thom
by avgalen on Mon 25th Feb 2013 16:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Disagree with you here Thom"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Scenario: I have a USB Disk with some movies or images on it. How would you prefer to play this?

1) Plug the USB Disk into the Smart TV, Start the file-explorer/movie-app/picture-app, Play
2) Find my laptop/tablet/phone, somehow make the movies/images appear on that Smart device, somehow broadcast it to the Dumb TV, then leave that Smart device running all the time and hope it doesn't run out of battery

Reply Score: 5

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

What will happen in 3-4 years with a smart tv..

1) Try to plug in usb disk into 3-4 year old smart tv... Dang it doesn't support usb 4.0 devices
2) find adapter cable, plug it in.
3) Dang, smart tv doesn't support this new super codec.
4) Buy new smart tv($800) or converter box ($50) that has more intelligence than older smart tv.


You might have the same problems with a converter box,but you only paid $50 for it, and replacing it is incredibly more simple than swapping out your tv.

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Bill Shooter of Bul,

Obviously I know what you mean, but...

"1) Try to plug in usb disk into 3-4 year old smart tv... Dang it doesn't support usb 4.0 devices"
"2) find adapter cable, plug it in."

To date, new USB devices have always been backwards compatible.

"3) Dang, smart tv doesn't support this new super codec."

Hell, you're right. But it's not just smart TVs at risk though, even mobile devices have this problem. Apple dictates that their users can not install google's webm format. Microsoft has an on/off relationship with support for the full mpeg family of codecs, but in their case at least desktop users have not been prohibited from installing 3rd party codecs (anyone know if their winrt tablet has codec restrictions?)

Fundamentally *if* the embedded computer were open, this wouldn't be a problem. But that's a quite large assumption; everything is going the way of walled gardens. As great as it would be for LG to buck this trend, I'm not terribly confident that they will.


"4) Buy new smart tv($800) or converter box ($50) that has more intelligence than older smart tv."

I honestly haven't found any network streaming box for NAS content at $50, more like $200 and that's only for something completely locked down. Might as well go for a full blown mini-board computer. However if I'm overlooking something obvious please let me know. It'd be fun to tinker with the raspberry pie, but in this case I'd be looking for something ready to use.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Disagree with you here Thom
by _txf_ on Mon 25th Feb 2013 18:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Disagree with you here Thom"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Hell, you're right. But it's not just smart TVs at risk though, even mobile devices have this problem. Apple dictates that their users can not install google's webm format. Microsoft has an on/off relationship with support for the full mpeg family of codecs, but in their case at least desktop users have not been prohibited from installing 3rd party codecs (anyone know if their winrt tablet has codec restrictions?)


That is being slightly unfair. I am perfectly happy to rail against set top boxes (non portable devices) and their poor codec support, but I recognise the reality that mobile devices ultimately need fixed function hardware in order to support media due to lack of processing power and energy efficiency.

Seeing as ARM devices still choke on h264 1080p without a hardware decoder, I see this trend continuing especially as HEVC is on the horizon.

Edited 2013-02-25 18:19 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

3.0 did add a new connector, which isn't backwards compatible( The USB 3.0 Micro-B connector ).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_3.0#Connectors

There are $50 network streaming boxes for nas.

http://www.roku.com/roku-products
$50.

roksbox channel
http://roksbox.com/home/

The $70 Wd TV play also works for those who want something to work out of the box.

http://store.westerndigital.com/store/wdus/en_US/pd/ThemeID.2198630...

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Bill Shooter of Bul,

"3.0 did add a new connector, which isn't backwards compatible( The USB 3.0 Micro-B connector )."

This I was not aware, however it looks like the end of the cable which plugs into the "camera", is it not? If this is indeed the case, then it's not really relevant. My laptop doesn't have a micro-USB port corresponding to the one on my camera, yet I can still make the connection via means of a simple cable since the signal is electronically compatible.


"There are $50 network streaming boxes for nas."

I specifically mentioned the roku because I looked at it and it is not adequate, it only streams DRMed media from commercial services. It is not a candidate for even the simple use case of streaming common videos from a NAS, at least not the model's I've tried.

Jailbreaking might eliminate the artificial restrictions, but in this case reveals that the device is underpowered and still requires trans-coding video on a real computer first (which is what roksbox users do). Even if you are happy with this route (I'm not), you still have to admit that it still defeats the purpose for which you suggested a $50 device in the first place.


"The $70 Wd TV play also works for those who want something to work out of the box."

Thank you for the suggestion, I will definitely take a closer look at this one to see if it could fit my needs.

Reply Score: 3

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I am sure that is the same as 2 micro-connectors.

Please. There is a big difference between using an adapter and complete lock-out.

Reply Score: 2

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Buy new smart tv($800) or converter box ($50) that has more intelligence than older smart tv.


If you didn't have a smart TV to begin with, you would still need to buy that $50 converter box. Other than the soon to be negligible increase in cost for the smart TV, what difference does it make?

I think everyone is missing this point - the "brains" for a Smart TV are

1. Potentially useful for quite a lot of stuff - streaming, airplay like functionality, basic web browsing, etc. And I expect new uses to emerge that make sense as well.
2. TV manufacturers will have the ability to update firmwares. They can make it faster, but they may be able to add features you didn't have before.
2. Have a cost that is rapidly approaching a effective level of zero.

I can easily see a lowend end ARM SOC with wifi and enough memory and horsepower to do basic stuff being a $20 component inside of the next 3 years. At that point, why the hell not?

Reply Score: 6

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

I think the favorite manufactures scenario is:

3) Plug the Branded SmartTV Disk into the Smart TV, Start the file-explorer/movie-app/picture-app, Play

With the added benefict that it will be supported through out the Smart TV lifetime. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Disagree with you here Thom
by Alfman on Mon 25th Feb 2013 16:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Disagree with you here Thom"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

It can be wireless or wired, but the problem with the TV as a dumb reception device is that you'll need another separate device to drive it.

I have a couple problems with this model:

1. I have to waste a model device (say a tablet) in order to have the TV echo the screen.

2. I might want to use multiple portable devices to interact with the same television simultaneously in modes where it doesn't make sense to designate any as a video master. The TVs video might not be a direct copy of any single mobile device.

3. The smart TV might have hookups that are unavailable or impractical to establish on a mobile device. This makes for clumsy integration on the mobile platform.


4. On top of my simple earlier use case, there's much more opportunity for innovation on smart tvs. They might technically be implementable using smart devices connected to dumb TVs, but you'll have to admit that some people would prefer an integrated solution such that there's no need for separate external devices. Ideally the computer portion of a smart TV could exist in an upgradable slot, which is brand agnostic, but I already know this is wishful thinking.

Reply Score: 2

swift11 Member since:
2012-08-23

The cost of a chip is a very small part of the total cost, so all TVs will be smart.
And: no need for ultra-low power chips in TVs.

Adding a codec to a smart TV is rather simple imo;

Samsung has an "evolution kit": you simply buy a new one after a few years.

Edited 2013-02-25 16:44 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Disagree with you here Thom
by Yamin on Mon 25th Feb 2013 19:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Disagree with you here Thom"
Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

This is a very good point.

As long as they don't screw up the basic functionality, I can see only good things from making a TV smart.

It doesn't cost very much and comes in a nice package.

Just the other day, I went to a birthday party and the host configured their samsung tv to show a scrolling banner "Happy birthday...".

The simple usecases are there for cheap on a smart tv (picture viewing, movie streaming, scrolling banners, auto-update...).

I'm sure updates will stop working, new formats will get out-dated and then you can have your laptop or desktop or HTPC or mobile phone or game console do the work.

But if the cost is marginal for an integrated experience and they keep external connections active, then it's utility is only enhanced.

Reply Score: 5

brostenen Member since:
2007-01-16

Yes... Keep all the inputs on the smart-tv as well.
I forgot to write it.

Reply Score: 1

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Also there are "Smart Devices".

Set-top boxes, Blu-ray players etc can offer a traditional TV the SMART functionality much like consoles are today.

I think it would be great to have skype running on my TV. Or being able to use a tablet as an input device and seeing my tweets/skype convo being shown on the tv as well as responses while live events are being viewed.

I have just starting working with Smart TV like devices. There are a lot of possibilities for some very cool things.

I think there is a serious lack of imagination from Thom and some of the other posters. Pretty much every developer in our team is quite exciting by some of the really cool stuff we can build.

The sky really is the limit.

Edited 2013-02-26 20:35 UTC

Reply Score: 3

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

http://www.osnews.com/permalink?553603

Also I didn't mention that there is voice and movement recognition.

But hey you can't see a use for it doesn't mean there isn't.

Reply Score: 2

terrakotta Member since:
2010-04-21

The protocol doesn't have to be wireless specific. You can hook up the TV to a router using UTP and have your phone connect to it via wifi over your LAN. I can see the point in having the TV be a layer 2 switch, with maybe some USB ports and other connectors (power over ethernet device or what not), heck, even give it one or more cameras and/or a microphone. These things do not age as fast as silicon-smart. An expensive phone now is cheaper and easier to control (remote controls still aren't that great) than the surpluss one has to pay for making the TV smart.

Edited 2013-02-25 18:50 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by lucas_maximus
by lucas_maximus on Mon 25th Feb 2013 15:20 UTC
lucas_maximus
Member since:
2009-08-18

Completely and utterly pointless. Smart TVs are a dead end. The TV should just remain a dumb receiver for input - whether from a computer or console via cables, or wirelessly from a smartphone or tablet. Our phones and tablets are already smart so TVs don't have to be.


These are convergence devices.

Except these Smart TV devices can talk to your tablet/phone on the same network and can be used as additional input device similarly to how the WiiU controller works.

Also the via a TV broadcast you can actually interact with Smart Apps.

Edited 2013-02-25 15:23 UTC

Reply Score: 3

This is much better
by tuaris on Mon 25th Feb 2013 16:20 UTC
tuaris
Member since:
2007-08-05

LG is a much better place for WebOS than HP, but then I wonder what is left of Palm?

Reply Score: 2

HTML5
by swift11 on Mon 25th Feb 2013 16:39 UTC
swift11
Member since:
2012-08-23

webOS, Tizen, Opera, etc.: smart TVs = HTML5 ecosystem

http://html5test.com/results/television.html

Edited 2013-02-25 16:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: HTML5
by moondevil on Mon 25th Feb 2013 16:55 UTC in reply to "HTML5"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

All doomed to fail...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: HTML5
by No it isnt on Mon 25th Feb 2013 18:52 UTC in reply to "RE: HTML5"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

I wouldn't bet on it. Apart from the games, most of the important mobile apps, i.e. those that mainly are concerned with pushing information this way and that, could probably be written in HTML5.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: HTML5
by Nelson on Mon 25th Feb 2013 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: HTML5"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

You can write apps in almost any language. I'm always confused by people who say "You can write this in HTML5" as if it's some grand achievement.

That's not and will never be the point. The point is to strike a balance between performance, reach, user experience, and developer productivity.

HTML5 feels alien nearly everywhere, to nearly every OS because it isn't native. The performance isn't up to par (despite microbenchmarking lunatics who think that scoring a few milliseconds more on SunSpider, which everyone optimizes for anyway, means JS is ready for prime time; its not).

How fast is HTML itself? How fast is traversing the DOM? How much of a modern UI toolkit needs to be reinvented *around* HTML5 to make this viable?

People think they can drop in some divs, style it with CSS, wire up some JS, and have a working app. Its a great deal more work than that, especially if your end goal is to not suck (a goal I doubt many supporters of HTML5 take seriously).

The really irritating part is that for a long time, crappy web developers have been more or less left to fuck up the web into 10 shades of shit. Now they want to do the same for app development. There is a higher standard here. If your app skips a beat, you won't be downloaded.

Tizen is dead. BlackBerry is as of right now, insignificant and their core focus is Qt+QML. Opera isn't really a driving force anymore because they through away their clout in switching to WebKit.

HTML5 isn't going to work folks. Lets get over with, pretend it never happened, stop cutting corners, and get back to being serious.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: HTML5
by moondevil on Mon 25th Feb 2013 20:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: HTML5"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

The sad thing is that I have to put up with web development contracts because all managers think that they need something cool in HTML5.

Based on my experience how these projects evolve, I will take a native application contract over any web related one, given the opportunity.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: HTML5
by Alfman on Mon 25th Feb 2013 21:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: HTML5"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

moondevil,

My experience goes the same way. It's probably the same shared experience developers have millions of times over. There's this obsession with HTML apps even when they're not as good as the local counterparts.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: HTML5
by lucas_maximus on Mon 25th Feb 2013 21:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: HTML5"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

The thing is Nelson, that we are already doing it and dealing with it and this is in Gambling companies.

We work around the problems in platforms with that is already existing in the JS community.

I am not a fan of it but it is happening.

Edited 2013-02-25 21:38 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: HTML5
by moondevil on Mon 25th Feb 2013 20:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: HTML5"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

HTML5 is the new WORA graal.

Write Once Hack and Feel Strange Everywhere.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: HTML5
by Vanders on Tue 26th Feb 2013 14:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: HTML5"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Write Once Hack and Feel Strange Everywhere.

HTML5 is the Java of the 2010's.

Reply Score: 3

RE: HTML5
by Nelson on Mon 25th Feb 2013 18:10 UTC in reply to "HTML5"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

webOS, Tizen, Opera, etc.: smart TVs = HTML5 ecosystem

http://html5test.com/results/television.html


It's hilarious that people still believe that this will happen.

Reply Score: 2

I had an LG and it already ran Linux...
by rklrkl on Mon 25th Feb 2013 17:01 UTC
rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

I had an LG TV that actually had the GPL in the user manual and ran Linux too. Quite why they need webOS for their "smart TV" range is beyond me - have fun trying to swipe cards away with the remote control :-)

As Thom says, smart TVs are just pointless - they're not standardised between manufacturers so are heavily fragmented and they often aren't anywhere near as good as hooking a PC or tablet to the TV.

I have a 50" plasma Smart TV from Panasonic and played with it for a few days before hooking up a Revo with wireless keyboard and mouse (and XBMC of course) for a *vastly* superior experience (full desktop Firefox for one thing!).

Reply Score: 3

Disagree
by galvanash on Mon 25th Feb 2013 17:10 UTC
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

Smart TVs are a dead end


I think you are underestimating an extremely large percentage of the market that either doesn't have a smartphone and/or media device or simply doesn't want to deal with one. Having nothing more than the ability to stream Netflix or Hulu or some other streaming service is valuable in and of itself - for many there is no need or desire for any more than that.

On top of that, its a nonsensical argument from a cost perspective. Sure, many people would rather an external device they can upgrade/swap separately. That doesn't make it economically infeasible to include $50 or so worth of intelligence in a device that retails for well over $500 - and the closer you get to the top end of the market the less the $50 matters.

In other words, the "smart" in a smart TV will be nothing more than noise as far as the price tag goes. Sure, right now they fetch a premium - but that is just manufacturers trying to leverage early adopters. The actual hard cost is negligible even now, and it is shrinking rapidly.

I would go as far as to say there is no point not making smart TVs - its practically a free feature. Its the same as ATSC tuners - a large percentage of the US market doesn't ever use the tuner, but it is included in almost every TV on the market because there is no real value in not including it...

Reply Score: 4

Integration wins
by bfr99 on Mon 25th Feb 2013 17:41 UTC
bfr99
Member since:
2007-03-15

One box is always better than two. One screen, one power supply, one case, no fiddly cables, no obscure network configuration, etc. This translates of course into lower costs.
The usual argument for multiple devices is that you can upgrade them individually but this is a weak argument when the devices are software update-able.
The goal is to have a TV which can provide instant video on demand from an essentially infinite supply.

Reply Score: 2

v Until...
by asdfasdf on Mon 25th Feb 2013 17:55 UTC
Smart TVs are dead...for now.
by Nelson on Mon 25th Feb 2013 17:58 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

The execution on every single Smart TV I've used has been extremely terrible. This is a very nascent market that is going to heat up in the coming years.

The big hurdle in the way is content. The TV and especially Big Cable needs a fundamental disruption in their entire business model.

A few big names will lead the way here, likely being Netflix, YouTube, and to a lesser extent, Hulu.

To me, the serviceability of TVs isn't a huge issue. That's what OTA updates are for. Once you hit a brick wall with the H/W, its time for a new TV.

There are still important questions to ask:

- Do we integrate the software into the TV? Set top box? How is maximum reach achieved? There are a LOT of TVs. That's an existing market you shouldn't throw away, given the long update cycle of TVs in most families.

- How do we interact with the TV? Via a remote? A second screen? Voice? Motion using something like Kinect?

- How do we update the traditional TV experience? Does the old TV paradigm still work given the more connected and content filled experiences?

- Is it really about apps? Does it really need an app store? I'm not convinced people want to spend a lot of time actually interacting with their TV. They want to watch content, not swipe, tap, and yell their way across somebody's fart app.

- How do we leverage existing devices, existing ecosystems? We have a lot of cool tech: BT 4.0, NFC, DLNA, WiFi Direct, WiDi, etc. They imo, certainly have a role here.

- Where does this leave consoles? If Smart TVs are so smart, should they integrate a GPU to ensure a fast+fluid experience? Is the console the set top box solution?

A lot of questions. This is a notoriously hard market to get into. I don't think LG will fare very well. Certainly not with a hand me down OS like WebOS.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Smart TVs are dead...for now.
by n4cer on Tue 26th Feb 2013 08:40 UTC in reply to "Smart TVs are dead...for now."
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

TVs (and other such appliances -- stereos, home theater systems, etc.) should act as network-accessible content renderers. Leave apps and fancy UIs to the computers and devices that will connect to these renderers.

They should offer comprehensive physical I/O (preferably including a gigabit Ethernet port) and wireless analogues (WiGig, Miracast, et al.). They should use standards like UPnP and Web Services on Devices to enable discovery of device capabilities (maybe the TV has built-in storage I can use, or the appliance is a DVR), and control of the device in a common, easy, and secure fashion such that the device automatically shows up in my OS, and I can control it without any extra software, and, if I choose, I can install an app from anyone, or write one myself that can also control the device.

Using Windows 8 as an example, my TV, home theater system, major appliances, would all appear within the OS' device stage (Printers and Devices window, and the Devices charm), and be accessible/controllable/monitored from that interface, or I could open my "Ultimate Remote Control" I wrote or downloaded from the app store, or I can write a Powershell script or a workflow to automate certain actions based on whatever criteria I deem important.

This is the kind of interface I believe is needed for truly "smart" appliances. Appliance makers should focus on getting this right. They can add truly useful services such as enabling networked devices to send alerts to their primary display or overlay interface if available (e.g., Caller ID) or send secondary audio/video to them (e.g., act as a speakerphone or videophone output via picture-in-picture).

The technology is there, they just need to make good, generic use of it. Provide the service and let others provide the value. If they must, they can provide their own app, but it should use the same services interface accessible to everyone else. Beyond that, they should focus on the quality of the appliance they are making (i.e., a great display in the case of a TV, keep my food fresh if a fridge/freezer, keep my clothes clean if a washer/dryer), rather than building app stores.

It'd be awesome if this was pervasive.

Edited 2013-02-26 08:48 UTC

Reply Score: 3

some thoughts
by frank on Mon 25th Feb 2013 18:24 UTC
frank
Member since:
2005-07-08

Funny how sweeping comments like that stirs up a competitive creative juices. Perhaps I can lend a perspective and some potential ideas:

1. "Minority Reports" interfaces where one flicks a screen between systems would require a network connection as well as possibly some embedded applications that interoperate with your other smart devices.

2. LG may be positioning itself for potential Apple's iTV product. Having an embedded system and development team may help it react faster and with higher quality than depending on OSS hackers.

3. I suspect that Apple won't be presenting strictly an istore interface with their iTV product, but something to do with personal communication. 15 years ago, when I worked on a set-top box, we tried to build video telephony into the system. This is sort of the angle that Apple might use as well.

4. Don't just think about home uses - think about how a business might be able to utilize a smart monitor in its meeting space. Quite frankly, perhaps a RDP connection from the monitor is all that we need.

5. Playstation 4, XBox 720, and that NVidia controller were/are being announced this year and are compatible with increasingly larger and much higher resolution screens. This significantly changes how we interface with the system (see point 1). We can get closer to the screen, we can touch and interact with them. Big difference from NTSC.

Reply Score: 3

RE: some thoughts
by Nelson on Mon 25th Feb 2013 20:33 UTC in reply to "some thoughts"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

My problem with these second string companies wanting to turn into software shops is that they demonstrably suck at software.

I'm talking about the LG's, Dell's, HP's, and Samsung's of the world. I have no faith in them to produce a product where most of the work has not already been done for them.

Samsung? Great if they're building value ontop of Android. Roll their own OS? Fuck no. Those guys couldn't engineer their way out of a paper bag.

HP? Don't make me laugh. LG? LG is struggling everywhere. Their mobile offerings have never, ever, EVER been good. I don't think they have the chops to mold webOS into more than what it is today.

webOS had great ideas, but by the time someone whips that OS into shape, every other OS will have incorporated their ideas into them.

I think Apple will roll out their iTV, Google will revamp their Google TV, and Microsoft will likely take an alternate route into the TV space with the Xbox. I don't envision a "Windows for TVs" coming, but eh, who knows.

Every OEM will build on some variant of Google's TV OS likely, and Google will gain appreciable initial share. It remains to be seen if they can replicate their success in phones.

Reply Score: 3

Good point.
by brostenen on Mon 25th Feb 2013 19:14 UTC
brostenen
Member since:
2007-01-16

I can see both. Smart or not smart.
What a blessing, that U do not have to connect you'r phone, because the tv can do the same.

What blessing, that you'r tv is only a monitor, and you have to connect everything, in order to use those features on the tv.

Wait...
My point is this. Why not do both? Have both types on the market and in the stores?
People should be able to CHOOSE what a type of device they want. If you want a tv with WebOS on it. Fine. Then buy one.
If you just want a monitor, for all you'r devices, then fine. Go buy that.
What I DONT UNDERSTAND is, why on earth are they still making tv's with only a tuner and a cardreader in it?

You should only have the choice between fully loaded os-device driven tv's, or a simple monitor, wich can display whatever you want, from whatever device you choose to plug in it.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by M.Onty
by M.Onty on Mon 25th Feb 2013 19:52 UTC
M.Onty
Member since:
2009-10-23

Quite a lot of the contrary pro-Smart-TV posts seem to have missed what I assume to be Thom's basic point:

A pretty screen looks pretty for many, many years, even when its technically been superseded. A cheap SoC computer keeps up with media trends for a couple of years (if you're lucky) and when it falls behind, it really shows. Why would a consumer want to have the latter bundled with their TV when it effectively devalues the former? At best its only useful for those first few years, after which point you have to plug another box in anyway, just as if it wasn't a Smart-TV.

Discrete, svelte little plug-in boxes make so much more sense. TVs sellers could even throw one in at the time of purchase.

Edited 2013-02-25 19:53 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by M.Onty
by BallmerKnowsBest on Tue 26th Feb 2013 16:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by M.Onty"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Quite a lot of the contrary pro-Smart-TV posts seem to have missed what I assume to be Thom's basic point:

A pretty screen looks pretty for many, many years, even when its technically been superseded. A cheap SoC computer keeps up with media trends for a couple of years (if you're lucky) and when it falls behind, it really shows. Why would a consumer want to have the latter bundled with their TV when it effectively devalues the former? At best its only useful for those first few years, after which point you have to plug another box in anyway, just as if it wasn't a Smart-TV.


And that's best-case, assuming TV makers don't follow the Apple/iOS model of deliberately failing to support any technologies that could undermine their control (and their ability to force upgrades by strategically dropping software support for old devices).

If SmartTVs take off, I doubt it will be long before we see cheap-o "NetFlix TVs" at Wal-Mart, with a built-in NetFlix player, an ethernet jack, and no "legacy" video inputs (the same way iProducts lack support for SD cards). Then just wait until NetFlix changes something on their end, breaking the player software built into the TV - giving the TV maker the power to force customers to upgrade by simply *not* releasing a software update.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by M.Onty
by Alfman on Tue 26th Feb 2013 17:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by M.Onty"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

BallmerKnowsBest,

That is actually what I see as the fundamental tragedy. As appealing as smarttvs might be for promoting new living room innovations, it's going to be a lost opportunity if consumers and developers loose control to media companies and overreaching manufacturers who impose selfish restrictions on the technology to block competition. It is so sad that anti-competitive behavior goes so far as to divert engineering resources away from desirable product features and towards making devices less open.

I can only hope LG will be different, but my hopes are not high with everyone trying to mimic apple's success with the closed computing model.

Edited 2013-02-26 17:32 UTC

Reply Score: 3

irony
by kristoph on Mon 25th Feb 2013 19:58 UTC
kristoph
Member since:
2006-01-01

I don't really 'get' the TV as I have not owned one for over a decade. I do, on occasion, watch Netflix, or buy stuff from iTunes.

However, I can't help but note that these same arguments against smart TV's were made against smart phones and phones with cameras, phones and music players, and so on and so forth.

I guess the point I will make is that smart tv's are pointless today because the real value add has not yet ben found but I do think that the right product, whatever it is, will emerge and will really drive the smart tv segment.

Reply Score: 5

Agreed, this is kinda pointless unless...
by Moochman on Mon 25th Feb 2013 20:39 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

...they decide to put it on phones after all.

One can always dream...

Reply Score: 2

Comment Title
by Bringbackanonposting on Mon 25th Feb 2013 21:23 UTC
Bringbackanonposting
Member since:
2005-11-16

Today you have a choice: SmartTV or not so smart.
Tomorrow they will all be the same price. You don't have to use the features if you don't want. Go with the flow, that's progress.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment Title
by phoenix on Mon 25th Feb 2013 23:39 UTC in reply to "Comment Title"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Until the "smart" crap that's hidden under menus you never use ... become *the* interface to the TV. ;)

Reply Score: 3

smarts
by Lion on Tue 26th Feb 2013 02:41 UTC
Lion
Member since:
2007-03-22

I want everything to be smart.

My ideal way to access content is via whatever screen I happen to have in front of me at the time, and the content to be available to every device I try to use to access it. Whether that's via cloud, cables, wifi, nfc, whatever.

Reply Score: 2

Smart TVs are inevitable
by benali72 on Tue 26th Feb 2013 03:42 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

You may want a smart TV, but the manufacturers certainly want to sell you one. Expect many soon, like it or not. Who knows? Maybe someday we'll reach the point where dumb TVs will be about as common as dumb mobile phones.

Reply Score: 1

Agree with Thom
by normsland on Tue 26th Feb 2013 09:48 UTC
normsland
Member since:
2011-12-14

To some extent Thom is correct. My "smart tv" is mainly used as a DLNA/UPnP AV renderer/client for video apart from watching normal TV. Smart TVs are all very good apart from the manufacturers only want you to buy the device then don't provide app updates after the next model comes out/your warranty expires (thanks Sony). WebOS is a great tablet OS and user experience, coming from someone who was lucky enough to get a firesale TouchPad.

HP after they ousted Hurd had no idea of what to do with WebOS. This kind of reminds me of almost a couple of decades ago when Gateway bought Amiga but didn't have a clue what to do with it. In the end Gateway were too scared with going against Microsoft at the time and stayed a me too company. HP have always made Windows devices, printers etc. Did they have the innovative nous to take WebOS forward? Obviously not. HP are a me too company, look at their range of Windows 8 tablets and the recent Android tablet still running Android 4.1.1. Not exactly earth shattering.

LG buying WebOS for TV's could be interesting. Maybe you could have a WebOS/Kinect hybrid a gesture driven 60" OLED screen where you literally throw away the channel you are watching. Or maybe even a Wii U style WebOS powered remote control.

If the worst comes to the worst. I am guessing that LG can always use the Palm/WebOS patents to protect themselves from the Android police (Apple, Microsoft).

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Jimmy
by Jimmy on Wed 27th Feb 2013 00:15 UTC
Jimmy
Member since:
2005-07-06

TVs are one of the electronics most users don't replace every 1-2 years. Keep televisions stupid, we don't need to buy new televisions every 18 months.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by ichi
by ichi on Wed 27th Feb 2013 07:34 UTC
ichi
Member since:
2007-03-06

Maybe SmartTVs will become somewhat more useful in the future but as they are being designed now they all suck.

The problem is that while it's actually a nice idea to be able to do things like swiping a picture or video on your phone and getting it automatically streamed to the TV it turns out to be a tiresome gimmick when you have to go into the TV's app menu, launch the application and authorize your phone every time (more so when the menu and the apps aren't loading all that fast).

Maybe I'm spoiled by having a PC plugged to the TV, but it's so much faster and easier to sync your mobile media with Dropbox and open it on the PC that the TV's "smarts" seem like a ridiculous burden.

Give me something more convenient and seamless than an external device and then we'll start talking.

TV devs seem to be happy throwing in random barely thought out features that never actually work as you would expect.
Take PIP as an example: yeah, being able to preview other channels or input sources could come handy, but then it turns out that you can only do that with a couple of video source combinations.

A SmartTV should be able to show previews of any source at any time, or even show a grid wall of them.
As of now they aren't "smart", they are TVs with a half assed and loosely integrated app platform.

Reply Score: 2