Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 18th Jul 2010 09:32 UTC
Multimedia, AV I'm a couch potato. There, I've said it. I love sitting down and watching sci-fi movies, like any good geek would. And this is an (almost religious) action that hasn't changed for many, many, years. But I feel that we're in for a surprise soon. The way we watch TV and access content is about to change. TV watching will at last arrive into the 21st Century, and the technology giants will be there to duke it out for the reins of this new industry.
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RE: Been done before?
by Eugenia on Mon 19th Jul 2010 01:55 UTC in reply to "Been done before?"
Eugenia
Member since:
2005-06-28

>If I'm not mistaken, the whole internet on TV was tried many times in the past and failed.

That's because the right technology was not there yet.

>If every body wanted an interface that brought the PC to the TV;

Nobody wants a PC on their TV. I don't. I want a different, new class of device.

>why doesn't everybody have a WebTV unit?.

Because the WebTV sucked.

>Sorry, I just can''t see it happening for the foreseeable future. Especially on a device that Humans watch for only a few hours a day.

"A few hours a day" is way more time using the device than the average cellphone user.

Your problem is that you have a very narrow view of what it can be done in the TV. You're thinking "a mythTV/TiVo-like interface, maybe a web browser, some IP TV".

Nope, that's not what I'm talking about here.

What I'm talking about is getting up in the morning, the webcam detects motion, and if time is after 7 AM (settable), the (1080p+) TV turns ON by itself. It greets you, with a synthesized voice: "Good morning Sodapop". And then it summarizes the new day, in a few sentences: "The weather today will be 25 C, sunny. You have 5 emails, 3 Facebook, and 2 Twitter replies. Today you have two appointments, one with your dentist, and one with your boss. Elsewhere, BP was able to stop the oil leak. Mel Gibson was caught peeping. Have a nice day, Sodapop".

And the TV stays ON, with a very nice interface showing you various "active widgets" and notifications. Only if you wish to know more you can then use your TV's controls to read the news, emails, more weather info, or just switch to a TV channel instead. And if you go away, and the webcam doesn't detect motion for 5 minutes, it turns OFF.

Let's say that you want to check the news. You voice-command the TV to show you the news. That will be an ON-DEMAND streaming of just 5 minutes of video news. Think of it as an RSS stream, but with video. Quick, to the point, and with visual stimulation. And you can even select video-RSS from your favorite site, e.g. Engadget.

So basically, in the morning at least, the TV is what should take the place of the newspaper. It's ON, it's interactive, and it's not merely "another computer". It's the device that sets up your day. Instead of reading the RSS headlines of CNN on the train, on your smartphone, you can now read them, or have them voice-synthed for you, while you're having breakfast. By the time you're on the train, or on your car, you're ALREADY informed of how to start the day, or what's up in the world.

And if it's a whole family sharing the TV, you can set it up to recognize faces.

In the evening, when the family is back, the primary usage of the TV is entertainment. It could be video from various IP providers, or audio, streamed from the web or your networked PC/NAS server.

And of course, the TV is also the main communication tool for the family. You skype with it your extended family. You sit the kids around, and you video-call their grandma. Even with the current netbooks, video-calling is a 1-to-1 communication. Now, for the first time, you can have many-to-many, as it would be on a NATURAL setting.

And these are just some of the possibilities.

Edited 2010-07-19 02:14 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Been done before?
by indieinvader on Mon 19th Jul 2010 15:43 in reply to "RE: Been done before?"
indieinvader Member since:
2009-08-11

Sorry, but that sounds terribly frightening!

I may sound old fashioned but I prefer my technology dumb. I don't want my devices to do things *for* me, I want them to make it easier for me to do the things that *I* want to do! Sure, I can agree that TVs need to move into the 21st century. Anyone can see that the providers are, for the most part, using an outdated delivery model. But I don't think we need to have an always on plug into the internet that turns *itself* on. Sure, its convenient but current TVs and computers offer the option to turn them off, permanently if you so desire, and I find that very appealing.

<off topic
I'd also like to mention that I'm not against technology in most ways, (I probably wouldn't be reading OSnews if I was) I'm a web developer and IT guy so I've worked with my fair share of technology.
</off topic

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Been done before?
by Eugenia on Mon 19th Jul 2010 19:58 in reply to "RE[2]: Been done before?"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

>I don't want my devices to do things *for* me, I want them to make it easier for me to do the things that *I* want to do!

Excuse me, but there would always be a setting to turn that functionality OFF. I mean, come on. When I wrote that comment, did you somehow thought that it would not be possible to use your smart TV "the old way"?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Been done before?
by vivainio on Mon 19th Jul 2010 15:50 in reply to "RE: Been done before?"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

And the TV stays ON, with a very nice interface showing you various "active widgets" and notifications. Only if you wish to know more you can then use your TV's controls to read the news, emails, more weather info, or just switch to a TV channel instead. And if you go away, and the webcam doesn't detect motion for 5 minutes, it turns OFF.


I guess all of this can be done with a boxee like device today (with relative ease), if you don't care about the webcam/motion sensor?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Been done before?
by Eugenia on Mon 19th Jul 2010 19:57 in reply to "RE[2]: Been done before?"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

I never said that we don't have the technology to do it. However, no one is doing it right now. Not this way. This is why I said when this guy mentioned WebTV, which was released 10 years ago, that back then they didn't have the right tech. Today we do. But for this to take off, it must come in a single package, it must be integrated. It's not about building HTPCs, buying a Boxee box that only does 1/5 of what I'm envisioning etc.

Basically, today we have the tech, but no one has made the work to bring all the functionality needed in one single product.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Been done before?
by phoenix on Mon 19th Jul 2010 22:47 in reply to "RE: Been done before?"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

That's not a TV, that's a computer with a monitor and speakers. Integrating all those features into a single unit is ludicrous.

A TV is nothing more than a monitor, and it should remain that way. Want more out of it? Then attached a "magic box" to it and configure that to do what you want.

Everything you describe can be done via a set-top-box, and that's where the smarts should be housed.

All-in-one units in the monitor like you describe are more trouble than they are worth. (Yes, I include AiO PCs and iMac in that statement.) All it takes is for 1 little thing (speaker? camera? cpu fan?) to die or need upgrading for the whole house of cards to tumble down.

Also, what about those who don't want a physical TV, instead they want a projector mounted in the ceiling. Where's the smarts now? You want to build all that into every projector now as well? Or, how about putting it in a separate "magic box" that connects to the projector.

How would you make this portable? A "magic box" is easy to disconnect and move around. A 106" plasma TV ... not so much.

What about when you want upgrade (or even downgrade) TV sizes? Are you going to have to re-do all your programming? Wouldn't it be so much simpler to just "unplug TV from box, replace with new TV, connect to box" and have everything working again? You know, like the way a VCR/DVD/BD player currently works, compared to a TV with built-in VCR/DVD/BD.

What if you want to take all your cool stuff camping in your spiffy RV? Are you going to have to program everything twice, once in the living room, once in the RV? Why not just program it once in the "magic box" in the living room, then unplug that and connect it to the (most likely smaller) TV in the RV?

You really don't want to make the TV smart. It's just a screen. Keep it that way.

Reply Parent Score: 4