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I Want My Dumb TV

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    I want my dumb TV - Televisions - CNET Asia (click for full article)

    "When it comes to smart TVs, manufacturers are basically charging money for nuthin'.

    Or to put it in less dire terms, the smart TV suites included in today's TVs offer little value. That's not to say I don't enjoy video-on-demand services as much as the next broadband Internet subscriber, it's just that I can get the same great apps and content on devices as cheap as the US$50 Roku LT. So why would I want to spend US$100 extra or more on a TV that has these features? "
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  2. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Excellent article. I tend to agree with most of the points in the article. I'm not saying GTV is a "bad" product - in fact I like my Revue very much. However I really question the "smarts" of the people behind the marketing plans/strategy for GTV.

    Let's take the new LG GTV televisions as an example. In terms of "value" the CNET review only gave it a "5" out of a possible "10". Here is a comment from the CNET review:

    "While the rejiggered interface -- part Google and part LG -- is welcome, I still wish the Google ecosystem came with a better TV. The picture quality of the Sony was OK but, despite superior specifications, the G2 is actually worse. Black levels are some of the poorest I've seen this side of TCL, yet the 55-inch G2 is $500 more expensive than my current favorite TV, the Panasonic ST50. "

    http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-tvs/lg-47g2/4505-6482_7-35123210.html


    Gee. Surprise surprise the 47 in. LG GTV television is like number 70,000 something (and falling) on the Amazon Electronics Sales Chart. The 55 in. is not much better at approx. 56,000.


    "Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,659 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)"


    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0074WVYWA/ref=asc_df_B0074WVYWA1990110?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&tag=cnet-ce-20&linkCode=asn&creative=395093&creativeASIN=B0074WVYWA



    Well I learned something new - Amazon has at least 77,659 electronic products.


    Come on Google - Where is the $99 GTV box???????
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  3. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Samsung 2012 Smart TVs, with voice, gesture control and facial recognition, launched (click for full article)

    "Despite studies and stats that show UK consumers aren't too enthused with so-called Smart TV features, Samsung just launched its latest 2012 LED and Plasma television line-up, with a heavy focus on 'smart features' in the UK.


    Consumers cold to smart TV


    Smart TV, that is television that's integrated with the internet and offers a smartphone-esque experience with custom apps, voice control etc., has often been hailed as the future of television. Consumers on the other hand, have been slow to warm to the technology.


    The first iteration of Google TV, for instance, was a disaster and a recent Freeview consumer survey indicated that Smart TV functionality came in dead last on a list of wanted features. Nevertheless, the big television manufacturers keep on pushing internet connected features in their TV models and the latest 2012 line-up from Samsung, just launched in the UK, is no different.


    Most advanced TVs from Samsung


    The 2012 ES series of Samsung TVs includes everything from the tiny and cheap 22 inch ES5000, to the high-end 55 inch ES7000 and ES8000 models. These televisions, particularly the ES7000 and ES8000, offer the most advanced and latest TV viewing technology that Samsung has to offer. However, they also place a significant emphasis on so-called smart, or online integrated features, with Samsung even calling the new tellys Smart TVs. "
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Technology News: Media Convergence: Smart TV May Be Too Smart for Its Own Good (click for full article)

    "Could Smart TV become one of the most short-lived consumer technologies ever, paralleling the laser disc? Is it maybe Dumb TV that we want? As smaller, portable devices like the tablet and smartphone provide our TV content, the television itself may return to being the dumb terminal in the corner, simply displaying what we shoot over to it from our companion devices. "
     
  5. Cygnus

    Cygnus New Member

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    My panny plasma is a smart TV. But the apps are laggy. I'd rather use my 360 or GTV apps. Between the 360 and GTV, 360's interface is better and netflix runs much smoother.
     
  6. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    LaserDisc lasted about 20 years, hardly short lived by consumer tech products standards. I don't have a smart TV but I do use several internet connected devices for TV viewing, Google TV, PS3, TiVo, and a couple of Blu-ray players. I don't think the upscale LG models were expected to sell big quantities, the lower priced sets will sell better. If the smart TV features help sell the more expensive, more profitable TVs, it will be a success. Ten thousand units sold with a high profit margin can generate greater profits than a million low price, low profit margin units sold. Popular price HDTVs are not very profitable products now, margins are very slim. I would sure want a piece of the tiny upscale TV market right now.
     
  7. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    I understand what you are saying about premium televisions selling less models and having a higher profit margin.

    But consumers are not idiots - as such even on high end televisions they want a good value. IMO these LG GTV televisions have the word bust written all over them. The CNET reviewer gave it a "5" (out of a possible "10") on the value portion of the score.

    The CNET reviewer also mentioned that the Panasonic ST50 smart televisions are $500 cheaper than the LG GTV television and have better picture quality. So I looked up the 55-inch Panasonic ST50 television on Amazon. They have a 55-inch (it's a plasma) with 3-D and web browser for $1540. It's ranked #1134 on Amazon electronics:

    Amazon.com: Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST50 55-Inch 1080p Full HD 3D Plasma TV: Electronics

    Now I just looked up the 55 inch LG GTV television on Amazon. It costs $2099 and it's in a freefall in the sales rankings - currently #69,375.

    They are both "premium televisions". And the model that is a "good value" is Approx. 70,000 sales slots higher on the Amazon Electronics sales charts.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  8. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I am certainly not going to buy an LG Smart TV at those prices either but I don't know if Amazon sales figures mean anything, it is either a profitable product for LG or it isn't and it can be profitable even if Amazon sales figures aren't good. This type of product generally is purchased at brick and mortar stores, not by bargain hunters from Amazon. LG isn't worried about this limited production run HDTV selling huge quantities, LG has plenty of competitively priced HDTVs to compete in the mainstream market. From what I have seen, LG HDTVs generally compete well in the quality value comparison, these HDTVs aren't competitive in that market, no question. Mercedes Benz doesn't compete well with Hyundai in the value based market either. I will try to get by a Best Buy or other store carrying these HDTVs to see if I can find one set up properly to look at.
     
  9. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    I found the Amazon sales charts to generally be a good indicator of how well the first line of GTV hardware sold. For example the Logitech Revue when priced at $299 was around #800 in Amazon electronics. Then as prices were incrementally lowered the Revue gradually started moving up the sales charts for each drop in price. For instance when the price was about in line with the Boxee Box - they were selling roughly the same amount of units as the Revue.


    My contention is that IF a GTV box is priced around $180 we would see it sell roughly the same as Boxee Box. I know they are different products each with their own strengths and weaknesses. But the amount of units sold seem to be close if the prices are similar. Thus far Boxee has sold approx. 200,000 units. Now Sony has announced they will release a GTV set-top box in Europe (in September) for equivalent pf $266 and a second generation GTV Blu-Ray player for $399.


    IMO those prices are very close to the firsst round of hardware (which failed). I don't see much new content added since then to make me think that all of a sudden the hardware will succeed at basically the same prices that it failed at in the first go-round. At $99 the Revue on Amazon zoomed up the sales charts and was very competitive with Apple TV and Roku. I think my observations are valid and will play out over the long run.


    By the way I'm glad that you mentioned Best Buy. Because as of now the GTV LG televisions are not listed as being carried by Best Buy - the only place to currently buy one is from Amazon. Best Buy has been having problems and will be downsizing. Seems a big part of the problem was people would go to a Best Buy showroom and test out televisions - then turn around and buy them cheaper from Amazon. So now Best Buy is shuttering stores, converting to stores with less square footage, and concentrating more on mobile and tablets (and less on big televisions). So who knows if these GTV televisions will ever even be in a Best Buy store. I did a search on their web site and the LG GTV televisions aren't listed.


    I agree with you that an expensive premium television would probably sell better from a showroom. So if Best Buy doesn't carry it- then Google will need to advertise it more heavily. Basically I still think it's a flop either way though.


    I just checked the Amazon chart and the LG 55in. GTV is now #71,016. Aside from the low ranking - notice the "Trend" of the ranking is continually falling. On my previous post I mentioned it was at #69,375. And on my second post of this thread I mentioned it was at 56,000. The trend is also an important thing to watch. It keeps dropping several thousand spots everyday over the past few weeks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  10. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    The D-Link Boxee sells for $180 on Amazon and I think it costs less to make than a Google TV box which comes with wireless keyboard and HDMI input and processing for HDMI overlay. I believe both have similar processors and RAM.

    I think millions of Google TV boxes could be sold at $50, but what is the point? Whatever it costs to make must be recouped or no manufacturers are going to mess with it, selling it at a loss makes no sense for LG or Vizio or Sony and it didn't make any sense for Logitech either.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  11. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    It's a BIG problem when someone can buy a Roku for $50 OR a GTV box for $250 to $300. I know they are different products - but probably only the true hardcore Google TV fans will spend $300 on a box - while the general "masses" will opt for the $50 box. It is what it is. The competition has to be taken into consideration. And the only reason GTV did as well it did with the first round of hardware - was because Sony & Logitech had to drastically cut prices to liquidate it's inventory. If the Revue would of stayed at $299 we would of probably only seen 150,000 units sold tops.


    The point is that it's GOOGLE that stands to benefit the most from mass adoption of GTV by the public. Google will benefit from sales/rentals from Google Play Store and YouTube - as well as selling advertisements. THIS IS WHERE THE REAL MONEY IS TO BE MADE FROM GOOGLE TV. Not the low margin stressed out hardware business. In other words I'm saying that the marketing approach needs to fundamentally shift. The forces at work with GTV are not the same as the forces of the android phone marketing model. (Where Google just supplies android to independent manufacturers). They want the same marketing model for phones to work with the TVs. They need to scrap this idea and subsidize a GTV box (break even on hardware). GTV will then gain mass adoption - and Google will benefit mightily in the long run.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  12. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    The Roku boxes are sold at a profit and aren't expensive to manufacture, I don't know what you are saying really. If Google TV can be manufactured and sold at a profit when priced competitively with Roku, great, but I don't think that is possible. If you are saying Google TV should be stripped down, made cheaper so it can compete with Roku on price, I don't think that makes any sense. If Google wants to sell Google branded GTV boxes at a loss, nobody is stopping the company but of course that will end any third party manufacturer participation from companies that must sell boxes at a profit or not participate. If Google TV can't be manufactured and sold to compete with Roku on price, it needs to set itself apart from Roku and justify the premium to the consumer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  13. Scuzzo

    Scuzzo Active Member

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    man i have tried the roku... for 10min and sent it back.. GTV is not hitting its target because people dont want a computer hooked to the tv...
    its a pretty techy crowd that digs it.. its not a main stream kinda thing... the roku buyer and the google tv buyer are two different consumers mho..
    i like the fact that i have a 40inch tablet... but i dont think a roku..er.. would want the same experience.. he just want to press a button and be feed content... while a GTV..er is more proactive... i like going out and finding me something my self... if GTV could ever get is demographic right.. and hit the price point it would sell like hotcakes... but i guess the market is just not there... with network blocks and all that silly stuff... but for me i have long ago left the hulu blues.... its the net its out there.... it may not be curated or wrapped in some sterile app.. that decides what you will and will not see... but hell,, make my tv as smart as possible.... thankyou very much... hook me up to the intertubes and i will be just fine.. it may not be as passive as the OK button remote deal... but its a hell of a lot more exciting..

    jmho
     
  14. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Yes the Google TV boxes cost a bit more to manufacture than a Roku box - but I would think that with an ARM chip they could at least be manufactured for $99. I'm sure that Roku is not making the bulk of it's profits from hardware sales - but rather deals from content providers and advertisements. I'll stick to my guns that Roku "more or less" breaks even on the hardware.


    Yes of course if Google TV had a super duper box with all kinds of premium content and great apps - people would pay more for it. But it's been over a year and a half since launch - and the amount of premium content added has been minimal. It's become rather apparent to me that Comcast, Hulu, the networks have no big interest in joining forces with GTV. I think if they wanted to do so - a year and a half would of been enough time. So I'm not holding my breath.


    Yeah GTV is kind of nice and offers more than Roku - but for what it is NOW most people either don't fully understand it or don't see it as representing a value of 3 to 6 times a Roku or Apple TV box. This was proven with the first round of hardware. Why do you think a new round of hardware (priced the same as the first round of failed hardware) will succeed? There is no new content to justify it succeeding the second time around. So they changed the interface and added a few less than thrilling apps - so this will make a GTV box go over gang-busters all of a sudden at $300? when it already flopped at $300???? In fact I like the old 2.1 interface better - because it just booted up directly to my bookmark page.


    It was proven that the Revue became competitive at $99. Please read this article about why it makes sense for GTV to subsidize the price of a GTV tablet so you can understand the underlying philosophy better. Lower price = better value = higher sales = more Google profit from Google Play, YouTube and advertisements. I don't know how else I can explain it to you.


    Why Amazon can't win a tablet price war against Google - Computerworld


    From the article: "But buying Motorola for patent protection, co-branding tablets, selling them in a store and even the existence of the Android mobile platform are all means to an end, which isn't big bucks from the hardware business, but revenue from Google Play digital content, online services and advertising. Google is the only player in category two that's in the position to profit from the bits without stressing about the low- or zero-margin hardware business. That's its greatest advantage. Google can grow the market with reckless abandon because every new customer brings additional revenue, but not additional costs or risks. "

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The same principles that apply to Google subsidizing a tablet - also apply to a GTV box. If as you claim this "idea doesn't make sense" - then why in the world does Google want to subsidize a tablet?

    And why do Roku and Apple TV employ a marketing model of making a small profit on the hardware - and the bulk of their profits from Revenue streams? They are the top 2 players in the Smart TV set-top box market - are you saying they don't know what their doing? And Google's approach is better? At least they both have a current set-top box model in production and being marketed. Where can I buy the new GTV box at now?
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  15. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I am pretty sure the Google TV boxes cost more than a bit more to manufacture than the most expensive Roku box and cost at least twice as much as the Roku LT $50 box to manufacture. Does Roku include additional advertising users are required to view, over the advertisements already included with the streaming services? If not, I don't see how Roku is receiving advertising revenue and I sure don't know how Roku is getting paid by the content providers.

    The idea I said didn't make any sense was to have Google TV stripped down to meet the Roku price point. I don't know if it would make sense for Google to subsidize manufacturing cost but I seriously doubt that would make sense, I don't see the additional revenue stream to recoup that cost. If Google subsidized each box for an amount close to $50, that would probably result in a loss of $50,000,000 or more a year with no corresponding revenue stream to make it back. The additional sales through Google Play by having people access that market by Google TV can't possibly be much and the additional profits, next to nothing. I have spent $1 for Plex and purchased a few dollars worth of music, all of it had to have been sold as a loss leader. I don't think I am different than the average Google TV user, we aren't going to use the box to spend money Google receives. We will watch ads and Google will receive ad revenue but additional ad revenue as a result of using Google TV can't be much and there is no requirement we even watch ad supported streaming using Google TV and a pretty high percentage of the use will be done in exactly that manner, no ad revenue for Google at all.

    I don't know how else you can explain it to me either. I just don't agree with you at all but much more important is the fact Google doesn't agree with you either and isn't doing what you suggest, so try convincing Google it makes sense to piss away tens of millions a year then hope to recover it by some pie in the sky concept. I say Google TV needs to succeed by having the best product for the biggest possible market willing to pay cost plus a profit and accept the $50 box market will go elsewhere. If Vizio or LG or Sony can make a Google TV box, sell it for $100 profitably, great the product has a much better chance of success. I don't yet see how that is possible.
     
  16. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Do you or do you not agree that the first round of Google TV hardware was a marketing flop? Do you currently see any GTV hardware in stores (other than the already discontinued blu-ray player)? When items are liquidated at fire-sale prices, discontinued and then no longer available in a store - that is the true definition of a marketing failure. What store can I walk into now and buy a GTV television?

    There is an old cliche that if something fails - but you keep trying the same thing over and over again while expecting different results - that is the definition of insanity. Essentially GTV is about the same product that already failed at the price of $300 for the set-top box.

    Oh by the way the LG GTV televisions have fallen yet further in the rankings since my last post. The 47 inch is #90,134 and the 55 inch is # 71,889. I'm beginning to think these LG GTV TVs might even turn out to be vaporware. The CNET web site is listing another retailer now for the LG televisions - so I went to their web site and looked up the LG GTV televisions. And it says they are "discontinued" Huh? Could be just an error though - we'll see. It's called B&H Photo - here's the link to their Google TV products page:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=Google+TV&N=0&InitialSearch=yes
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  17. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    Oh ya, the tablet market is different, tablet users are going to purchase apps, purchase books to read and purchase music so Google can slightly subsidize tablet hardware to get it in consumer's hands although I doubt if that practice pays off for Google but it is too early to know how much it will be done and what the results will be. Google TV's primary purpose is to enable users to watch internet TV. Google TV users are either already paying for cable TV or satellite TV and using Google TV in conjunction to that since it is designed to neatly seam internet and a pay TV service together or are like me, using Google TV as part of the solution to cut the cord. Neither group of Google TV users is going to be spending a lot of money on apps or music. Movie rentals for cord cutters should be somewhat important but profits to Google from that can't ever amount to much, it is a very competitive market and the competition isn't hamstrung by spending tens of millions yearly getting hardware in consumer's hands to rent the movies.
     
  18. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    No question Google TV has been a flop so far. I don't know if there is a bright future for Google TV but I am inclined to believe the only path to success is by offering a better user experience. Manufacturing efficiency will bring costs down if this next generation of products can gain traction. I love my Google TV boxes and can make them do what I want and think the more successful streaming boxes are lame in comparison but Roku and Apple TV are more polished and easier to use for the average consumer. That also means they do much less of what I want the box to do so I am sticking with Google TV as long as it does what I want, I can live with clunky.

    You are focusing on the recent expensive LG Google TVs as much more important than I think they are, frankly I didn't care what happened to those products, they were intended as the tiniest of niche products from the start.
     
  19. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Well I agree that improving the user experience will help improve the value of GTV. No doubt about it. But I think the key here is the definition of user experience. IMO that would mean more premium content. Also IMO Google "rearranged" the interface with the 3.1 update and added a few insignificant apps. I guess I'm saying that the change in user experience (so far) - has not been enough to make the product a success at the same price that it already failed at. At least that's the way I view it... Time will tell....
     
  20. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Great in-depth interview here (see link below) with Anthony Wood, the CEO of Roku:

    From the article: ""If you think of the range of new connected devices, at one end you have Apple. They make almost all their money on hardware," Wood said. "And on the other end, you have companies like Amazon that sell their hardware at cost but make most of their money from content. We're more toward the Amazon end. We make some of our money from the hardware... but we get revenue share. We did about $100 million in sales last year, but we're still not profitable. We'll prbably turn a profit sometime in 2013."


    How Roku is kicking the cable industry's butt & where it's going next [exclusive] | VentureBeat
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012

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