Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 11th May 2012 19:10 UTC
Apple The next frontier for Apple - and other technology companies - to conquer: the television market. Terry Gou, chairman of Foxconn, has confirmed his company will be building a television for Apple in conjunction with Sharp. Since I bought a brand-new top-of-the-line TV late last year, I've been thinking a lot about what could be improved about the state of TV today, and as crazy as it seems, I'm actually not that dissatisfied.
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4 Years Ago vs Today
by lfeagan on Sat 12th May 2012 17:50 UTC
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Four years ago I bought a Sony KDL-46XBR8, Triluminos (RGB) LED technology with local dimming. The XBR8 was designed before the market for selling high-end products went kaput in 2008 and is still reviewed as better than any non-Plasma DFP. For those that don't know, XBR = the best Sony can do. Ok, so there are a few exceptions, such as the XBR9/10 that were some marketing BS that weren't as visually pleasing as the XBR8, but cost about 1/2 as much. They cut the XBR8 life very short thanks to awful sales due to its high price.

So, while this is a rather wickedly good TV in terms of quality, and most mercifully is a matte display, it has a few annoyances.
1) Getting to the guide after powering on is a 30+ second affair
2) Entering/exiting the guide causes an audio/visual hang with nothing for 1 second
3) I have to use a roku and an attached PC for doing all the things I want to do (Netflix, LAN DLNA music/video/photos, et cetera).

If this was the market Apple was coming into, I can easily see how they would dominate. However, last year I bought a Sony XBR-46HX929, the current Sony XBR. Out of the box this TV does everything imaginable with its software for streaming and local media, web, widgets, is very fast to boot, has no audio/video gap when entering/exiting guide. Other than the stupid glossy display, it is nearly ideal.

Against this type of competition, I don't see the market being particularly excited with an Apple TV appliance. While the competition was dozing off 4 years ago on the software front, as their focus has long been on the hardware, they have figured out the importance of high-quality software, Samsung even more so than Sony.

Unlike Nokia, which was somewhat dozing off with their smart phone software, TV manufacturers seem to have figured it out before getting demolished by newcomers to the market. I believe they have managed to successfully avoid the innovator's dilemma type scenarios that paralyze a company into a fossilized state of progress.

With regards to the whole upgradability of the hardware discussion, there is already a rather reasonable standard, Open Pluggable Standard (OPS), that is used for digital signage and large screen displays. I don't see why high-end TVs couldn't simply adopt this standard. In fact, many NEC products already use this standard. Why I am limiting this to high-end TVs is that the cost of enabling this capability is non-trivial and the boards are also non-trivial costs.

About the standard

NEC's option cards

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