Monday, 3 October 2011

Start Thinking Smart LED Televisions

With the rise of the Internet, the world is getting smarter. But it appears that our televisions are getting smarter too. So smart, in fact, that analysts are expecting a half billion smart televisions within the next four years.
First we had smart phones, but now we are moving to a day in age where all devices need to be "smart" in some respect or other in order for it to be desirable. This is because of the explosion of the Internet and social networking services like YouTube that encourage users to share everything. Also, with the rise of services like Hulu and Netflix, it is proving true that the Internet can be the platform of the future for television.
So it makes sense that analyst from In-Stat believe that televisions with much more improved functionality — those that can run applications, games, streaming content, and more — are going to be very popular. They believe that over half a billion of these types of televisions will be on the market within the next four years.
This growth can be explained by the television manufacturers themselves pushing the limits of technology on their televisions. It's becoming a day in age where a television no longer simply displays a motion picture — they are becoming full-fledged computers, just like services like Google TV have attempted to bring to the HDTV.
But this isn't only televisions: Blu-ray players and set-top boxes are also expected to become even smarter. They are already able to connect users to social networking services and stream content from the Internet, so who knows what they will be capable of in the future?
These display manufacturers also believe that this is a much better bet than 3D content for the next few years, as consumers want these connectivity features now and are willing to pay for them (as opposed to 3D content).
The rise of video-on-demand, pay-per-view, streaming, and other types of content also provide a unique opportunity for these television manufacturers. It could potential make them the middleman for providing this content to consumers. Instead of having to go to a video rental store or to an actual retail store to rent or purchase movies, all of this might be done from the television itself in the future.
Add in a large storage disk on these televisions like Sony has done or opt with the streaming that UltraViolet will provide, and you have a perfect solution to providing consumers with entertainment all at their remote control. The only question is can they price it right.
If these manufacturers can develop a content deliver platform that provides things like movies, television shows, applications, games, and more, they will be in a prime position to rake in more profits from the hardware and software side of television. But this also means earning the respect of third-party developers.
If these manufacturers turn into full service providers of digital entertainment, they will need to make deals with the movie studios and potentially services like Hulu and Netflix. This creates a huge issue of openness in the future of content. Will these television providers opt for open platforms like Android and Google TV? Will they go a route similar to Apple, where they control everything but possibly provide a better experience?
Regardless, it is clear that television manufacturers are becoming more important, as they now have the power to control not only the hardware but the software experience, and this means that these manufacturers have a whole new playground to explore.
They now have to win consumers on two fronts: hardware and software. This could ultimately win over consumers and continue the degradation of the traditional pay TV industry. This has plenty of people wondering what the future of television will look like (yours truly included).
Either way, it is surely an interesting time for the television industry. The next four years will tell a lot about what the future of content on televisions will be like. With players like Sony who already have experience in creating content delivery platforms, other manufacturers will need to arm themselves with software developers who can keep up and can possibly craft the future of entertainment delivery.

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