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What Smart TVs Need to Succeed

By Grant Clauser
Intel's Wilfred Martis shares his thoughts on how the smart TV concept is going to work.


The Internet and TV are finally converging, in a way consumers seem to be responding to.


Wilfred Martis, Intel's GM of consumer electronics in the digital home group, says that while we've heard this before, it's different this time. We agree.


Intel is trying to brand smart TVs as something different from Internet-connected TVs - poised to be a hot item this holiday season - that have web-based features but fall short of being smart.




In Intel's world, Martis says, a smart TV must meet the following three pillars:

Unlimited Content Access: "To do that, you need a browser." This means a smart TV shouldn't be restricted by the apps available to run on it. It should be able to grab any content that lives on the web. The only product that really does that, at the moment, sort of, is Google TV (available on some Sony products and the Logitech Revue).


Google TV happens to use Intel's smart TV technology and Atom processor. Through the Chrome browser in Google TV, ideally, a user could get to anything - Hulu, NBC, ABC - but that isn't working out at the moment because all major broadcasters are blocking Google TV's access.

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Any consumer, ideally, can get access to everything right now using a htpc!


The Intel "baby talk" stating consumers need an Internet browser is ridiculous.

What is wrong with the free, mature browser you are using now to read this post?



In reality this is a fight over who shall provide consumers advertising and subscription services, since cable and satellite are rapidly losing their captive subscribers.


All these corporations want consumers to pay them to access the Internet through their proprietary software, then force advertising and subscriptions. Is this just another pay-per-view system with new forms of digital rights management?


The solution is to keep Internet access independent of any proprietary system, and add home theater capability to their home personal computer. Don't buy into new proprietary media devices, as the upgrade cycle will never end.

With a multi-media pc, consumers retain control of their home entertainment system and are free to choose among competing services.
 

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as much use as a HTPC is , they arent mainstream and they wont be for a while. yes it is easy enough to do, but the consumer mindset is that they are confusing. Im tech savvy, and i get frustrated with HTPCs. I will not be using one myself, and if someone like me wont, i cant imagine average joe will jump on board.
 

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I think the idea of smart tv is to make internet content more easily accessible on the TV - not force viewers into differnet propietary payment models.


Htpc's are great but I agree not easy enough and too expensive for the mainstream.


Devices like google tv should increase competition and the ability to choose web services like hulu, amazon, itunes or even shows from broadcaster websites (once they stop blocking content) versus cable, satellite.


I don't know, I see it as a step in the right direction.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjr430
I think the idea of smart tv is to make internet content more easily accessible on the TV - not force viewers into differnet propietary payment models.


Htpc's are great but I agree not easy enough and too expensive for the mainstream.


Devices like google tv should increase competition and the ability to choose web services like hulu, amazon, itunes or even shows from broadcaster websites (once they stop blocking content) versus cable, satellite.


I don't know, I see it as a step in the right direction.
I don't know about too expensive or complicated. I built my htpc from scratch rather cheaply and the only difficulty I've had with it thus far is programming my x10 nstinct remote to work with my xbmc.


I do see the average lazy american (no flames, I'm american too) having difficulty with such a diy, but then again, that's what scumbag marketers make their money on, right? Selling us established technology incrementally so that we buy ten crappy tv's in a decade, instead of allowing us to pay a little more for one tv that will last a decade...its how they maximize profits at the expense of both us, and the environment
 
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