Telly makers failing to turn punters on to smart TV
Games consoles to be most popular IPTV platform?
UK consumers aren't yet turning on to the smart TV concept, pollster YouGov revealed today.
Over the Christmas 2011 period, smart TV ownership rose by just a single percentage point, the psephologist said. In November 2011, ten per cent of the UK population owned a smart TV.
Back then, 15 per cent of UK consumers, based on YouGov's polling data, said they plan to buy a smart TV during the following 12-month period, and a further 16 per cent said they might do so.
That latter constituency now stands at 25 per cent, suggesting punters are opening up to the idea of owning a TV that can connect to the internet for extra - "over the top", as it's called in the biz - programming.
But only 16 per cent - a single percentage point up on the last time punters were asked - will buy a smart TV for sure.
Even if smart TV ownership doesn't increase, there's clearly an interest in IPTV. YouGov found that games console ownership "saw a big uplift" over the Christmas period. All of the current consoles can access one or more net TV services.
And consumers are interested in HD TVs. Flat-panel telly ownership rose four per cent over Christmas to 59 per cent of telly owners.
How many of those new purchases can connect to the internet but their owners are aware of the capability? A fair few, we suspect.
Either way, TV makers need to do more to promote the feature, especially with the likes of Lovefilm and Netflix promoting all the other options open to consumers to view their services. ®
I'd like a SmartTV
It'd be great - just a shame that none are available. There are WalledGarden TVs and PartiallyImplementedTVs, but no actual SmartTVs.
In fact, what I'd rather have is a thick-as-a-brick TV-sized monitor (maybe with speakers) to which I can fit the device of my choosing. That way I don't have to endure the artificial restrictions put in place my the OEM. With XBMC now running on the Raspberry Pi, why would I need anything else?
Smart TV? Yes, when everything I have needs replacing.
I would eagerly purchase a smart tv, if it did iPlayer and DNLA, could record from Freesat and freeview simultaneously, and had an integrated BD/DVD. Sadly for Sony et al, I have boxes that do all that for me, and they are not in need of being replaced. And 3D? Keep it.
This could be why they aren't selling. People have all this stuff, and have just bought their latest 3D tellies to replace their slightly less new HD Ready tellies. They don't see a need to upgrade.
Snow? Eskimos (Inuit?)?
Why would people want to pay out yet again for things when they already have a house full of other gadgets that can do the same job and usually do it better?
1. If you've got a console, you have the means to access the web (and thus social network of your choice), plus a variety of IPTV services. Even the lowly Wii can do it. But let's face it, browsing the web on a console is like repeatedly poking yourself in the eye with a pencil; anyone can do it but why would you voluntarily choose self-infllicted pain? Let's not forget, you might also be using your console for its primary purpose - playing games.
2. If you've got a smartphone or fondleslab, you've got a much nicer way to access the web. You can also stream IPTV to the things in a variety of ways. How many slabs/smartphones per person in the typical gadget-enthused household (i.e. target demographic for smart TVs)? It is bound to be a a ratio somewhere north of 1:1.
3. You've almost certainly got a PC (or six - *shame*) knocking around. By far the most web browsing experience and second best TV platform.
4. Not to mention you may already have Sky or Virgin TV, so you've got time-shifting, on-demand and streaming TV opportunities there as well. Maybe even a second box/subscription to keep the peace. Personally I'm already so overwhelmed with choice I cannot even be arsed to install 'Sky Go' or whatever it is they are calling it now on my smartphone or PC.
5. You will also probably have Freeview and/or Freeview HD on one or more non-smart TVs, and maybe even a PVR built in as well.
6. Let's not forget the cupboard full of DVDs and/or Blu-Rays that you have lovingly shelled out for down the years. Old school I know, but people are still buying shedloads of the things.
7. Oh, and board games, books, music, hobbies, the world outside your window, a decent night's sleep, commuting to work, working, shopping, eating and drinking, bringing up your kids, secret life as a masked crime-fighter, etc. Got to leave some time for those things between TV and FaceCrack.
So again I ask, why would anyone pay out yet again to solve a problem that they already have up to six other solutions for already? Especially if you have already bought a new flat-screen TV or set-top box in recent months or years, not to mention 3D TV maybe taking off/maybe fizzling out, so lots of 'wait and see-ers' who remember Betamax and HD-DVD.
There are only four pairs of eyes and 24 hours in a day in our house. At most we could consume 96 hours of TV/Social/Media/Web per day. We have 13 independent sources of content and enough screenage to display ten of them simultaneously, and even if we all gave up work/school/eating/sleeping/crime-fighting we could only consume about 40% of what the technology is capable of vomiting forth. (And vomit is what 90% of the stuff available is anyway).
The real surprise is that anyone is surprised the market for yet another source of said vomit is not taking off.
(And I forgot about the PSP and 3 x Nintendo DS's knocking around the house!)
Promote the feature?
No, telly makers need to make sure their TVs support more IPTV services.To be fair there's a distinct lack of IPTV services so their offerings may still not be compelling, but punters aren't going to be sympathetic if their TV doesn't play iPlayer/ITV Player/Whatever when it's billed as a "smart" (haha) telly.
At the moment as El Reg's articles have shown it's a confusing mess of manufacturers doing their own thing and making their own deals on a service-by-service basis. Even techies find IPTV daunting, I hate to think what Joe Average thinks of it all.
Probably "I bought a large flat panel HDTV two years ago and it still works fine".
I just don't see the point
People can do all of this already, on equipment they will have whether their TV does IPTV or not. Virgin/Sky + PS3/360 cover off anything that these Smart Tvs and do, and most people are not about to get rid of them because they need them for more then just the IPTV elements.
TVs should be dumb. They should be there to provide a good picture, acceptable sound and plenty of helpful connections and that's it. Eventually manufacturers might cotton onto the fact that people don't need it.
Build a TV that has EVERYTHING I need built in and we are onto something. ie a TV that has a 360, PS3, media streamer and AppleTV so I can get rid of everything else will be a winner. As it is half heartedly replicating features which already exist and are done better just doesn't cut it.