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Is a Smart TV a Smart Investment?

After coming back from CES this past January, I was really interested in some of the Smart TV’s that were being released.  Maybe I was caught up in the glitz and glamour of the show because since the lights have dimmed and the fog has lifted, I don’t have the same interest as I once did.

I appreciate what the Smart TV is trying to accomplish in making Internet content available from the device with the largest screen this side of your local movie theater. But with the accessibility and power of today’s smartphones and tablets, is an Internet friendly television really necessary?

If you’re anything like me, you probably keep your smartphone (or tablet) at the ready for all things including news alerts, email and once in awhile, an actual phone call. Another draw about this is the ability to quickly call up information based on something “as seen on TV” whether it be a film trailer I want to know more about, sports updates (especially during basketball playoffs) or just trying to place the name of an actor I’ve seen on another show.

I don’t want to take myself out of the immersive experience watching TV provides by navigating to the web during a show.  Having my smartphone within reach is more ideal so I can keep the party going without being disrupted if something strikes my fancy enough to go and learn more.

While it’s cool that Smart TVs can lend themselves to providing additional content such as Netflix or Hulu, if you have a game console such as an Xbox™ 360 or PlayStation®3, chances are you already have these apps and more to scratch that itch. In fact, I see more people on my friends list watching movies than I do actually playing a game. I grasp the concept of having one device to rule them all, but given the various needs of each household, is that even realistic?

Between game consoles and the storage capacity of some of the DVR’s hitting the market, I’m okay with keeping my living room setup as is. So will the Smart TV go the way of the HD-DVD player or the Personal Digital Assistant? Only time will tell us if the Smart TV is a smart investment.


  • You pose some interesting questions but I think we have to keep in mind so many people are not gamers and do not consoles. Further, if we have learned anything from the history of technology it is that nothing is certain and everything becomes obsolete. DVRs run by cable companies are actually quite limited (which is why U-verse is becoming so popular as is the new Tivo). And if nothing else, relying on a “one-size-fits-all” thought process is nincompoopish at best. One machine cannot and should not be end-all be-all. Ever seen Terminator? So, after all that… There is a market for Smart TV and I hope it sticks around. [Apologies. My Puerto Rican passion has been known to take over now and again and I love my tech/gadgets.]

    Great read!!

  • Jonathan Says:

    First, thanks for the comment. I love the passion. I agree with you that depending on the need a person will have various devices to meet that need. I carried multiple cell phones based upon use cases alone. However, while I do love the Internet and all it’s functionality, when I am watching TV, I don’t want to disrupt that viewing experience to go get some web information simply because the functionality is there. It could also just be about the execution. (PiP, Auto-pause, etc)

    There may be a market for Smart TV, it just may be a small, niche one.

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