Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Idiot Box gets an IQ: The Birth of SMART TVs

The Idiot Box. That's what it was called, apart from, of course, being the Boob Tube. The names, if you notice, aren't very flattering for such an appliance where we have both learned much and been dumbed down much. But that is changing.

Last April 1-2, 2011, I attended the iBlog7: The Blogging Summit at the UP Diliman's Malcolm Hall. One of the sponsors was Samsung SMART TV, and the blogging community was introduced to the features of the said TV.

In a nutshell, the Samsung SMART TV is like regular TV, but with the computer's ability to also access the internet. With the Samsung SMART TV, one can watch regular programs on TV, watch more than one program simultaneously, while also being able to surf the internet. Imagine a TV screen having a window for each of your favorite TV channels, another window for Facebook, another for Youtube, or maybe Twitter. It's basically a TV with internet capabilities. Or TV on steroids! :)

Imagine Life with a Samsung SMART TV
One of its unique features is the access to Samsung's TV App Store where you can purchase applications for your SMART TV, the same way Apple has an Itunes store for music, and Amazon has a Amazon Kindle bookstore for ebooks. This is something that promises to revolutionize and totally redefine the 'TV experience' as we know it.

From the looks of it, it is hardly an innovation, just an integration of 2 different products - TV and computers. It seems simple enough, but I think its implications are huge. Seeing Sony and LG also launching a similar SMART TV, this just might be where TV is really headed. TV is getting a IQ upgrade with these SMART TVs. We're all able to watch TV shows on computers anyway, so this integration makes great sense.

Maybe regular TV will soon get phased out (or die!), and all TVs will have become smarter. Maybe this will also have an impact on TV broadcasting, if more and more people get their 'TV fix' on the internet - perhaps SMART TVs will pave the way for eventual 100% 'broadcasting' over the internet. It is not far-fetched, esp. with TV networks' transition into digital broadcasting; and Youtube, which has practically allowed anyone to 'broadcast' themselves via their own Youtube channels. Apple also came out with the Apple TV (which hasn't taken off as much as we'd like), and Google has Google TV too (which deserves a real good look, and maybe a separate post).

Google's Eric Schmidt talks about the Google TV
Still, more and more TV brands are venturing into SMART TVs. I realize this may be TVs attempt to not be made totally irrelevant by the computers, and the other communication products fighting for people's attention - like the Ipad for example. (Or Samsung's own Galaxy Tab).

The Samsung SMART TV is a first of what will probably be several evolutions of the SMART TV - be it from Samsung or other TV manufacturers. Check out the Samsung website to see what it promises to deliver.

P.S. Recently, I entered into a contest to win a Samsung SMART TV. My entry is about the '7 Ways to Loving a Samsung SMART TV'. Apart of listing the 7 Ways, I also posted a video that is a tribute to what the Samsung SMART TV can do for us. Check it out! :) And wish me luck. :)

My Samsung Love: Counting the Ways to Loving a Samsung SMART TV

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