Connected HDTVs: Looking for a trendy buzzword? Try this one: “smart TV’s.” Nearly every mid- to high-end HDTV is now “Internet ready” via Wi-Fi or wire. And if you missed getting a “connected” TV, a plethora of adaptors are ready to confound you with Internet to TV choices. Fending off IPTV disruptors like Apple, Google and Vudu TV manufacturers want their full-featured TVs in the center of your media universe … user interface be dammed!!
Each smart TV has an “app platform,” including the horrific (and intrusive) Yahoo Inc. TV Apps. Your business and media imagination can run wild with ideas for TV apps. Most of the demo TV’s included Pandora, Netflix, Facebook and YouTube. Among the many exhibitors, Samsung’s Smart TV platform is the winner for connected TV. Their “Smart Hub” competes with the likes of Microsoft’s media center but integrates network attached storage to the television.
Sony’s proprietary Internet video-on-demand platform has the absurdly Japanglish name QrioCity. It works with their connected Blu-Ray disc players, TV and the PlayStation 3 Live platform. Amazingly, it did not work with Sony’s online video site, Crackle.
Prefer to save a few shekels and retrofit your existing television for Internet connectivity? In that case, the Sony BD player is your choice. You can onboard Wi-Fi, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, Cinema Now, DVRs and even 3D at affordable price points. The TV industry will never be the same.