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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Smart TVs are dead...for now.
by Nelson on Mon 25th Feb 2013 17:58 UTC
Member since:

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 in reply to "Smart TVs are dead...for now."
n4cer Member since:

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 Parent Score: 3