TV Makers Get Smart

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  1. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

    Nov 20, 2010
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    TV makers get smart, bring you the web
    Consumers can see movies, play games or get on Facebook

    By LuANNE LaSALLE The Canadian Press

    Sun, Jan 23 -2011 AMMONTREAL — Dozing off in front of the TV is becoming just another option.

    As Internet-connected television — or smart TV — starts to move into Canadian living rooms, viewers can opt for web content when regular TV starts to bore.

    The "lean back" experience of the TV is now merging with the "lean forward," or sit-up experience, of the personal computer, says global trend expert Ann Mack of JWT Intelligence in New York.

    "We have this expectation for instant gratification and on-demand everything," she said.

    "So, if I want to pull up that YouTube clip, I want to pull it up wherever I am and if it’s front a TV — so be it," said Mack, director of trend spotting at the global marketing communications firm.

    With smart TV sets, consumers can access movie services like Netflix, games, news and weather feeds, Facebook and Twitter, or just do a search for information, all with their remotes. They can have widgets or dashboards along the bottom or side of their TV screens with content.

    In Canada, the NPD Group said smart TVs accounted for about 11 per cent of all television sales as of last November.

    Smart TVs generally have screen sizes of 40 inches and larger, said Mark Haar, director of consumer electronics at NPD.

    "It has almost become standard equipment in TVs that are 52 inches plus," Haar said from Toronto.
    But they also come with close to a 50 per cent premium in price, Haar noted, adding that one smart TV with a 46-inch screen is priced at $1,351.
    That may be one of the reasons why watching TV the old-fashioned way looks like it will continue to be favoured by most, at least for now.

    "For this year, 96 per cent of all of TV that Canadians watch is going to be on traditional TV sets," said Duncan Stewart, director of technology, media and telecommunications at Deloitte Canada.

    Samsung, LG Electronics, Vizio and Sony are among manufacturers to offer smart TV sets.

    Viewers also can get Google TV through a set-top box or embedded in their Sony TVs, and Apple TV via its own digital media receiver to stream content.

    Smart TVs and platforms, however, can go too far with an experience that’s too much like sitting at a PC, said Sam Rosen of ABI Research.

    He noted that Google TV has been criticized for relying on a keyboard and typing, like a computer experience.


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