Are you Ready for Internet TV, Again?

August 4, 2006

TVSony, Matsushita (Panasonic), Sharp, Toshiba and Hitachi are reportedly developing a unified standard for “Internet TV’s” capable of net access which feature “a remote control that allows online access with the touch of a button and will also eliminate the need for a personal computer keyboard to make the gadget more user-friendly.”

Without the benefit of seeing the user interface I’m a bit skeptical, after all set top boxes that facilitate net access on a television aren’t exactly a new idea. And we all know how those devices panned out. Maybe Sony, Panasonic et al have another angle on all of this, or maybe just integrating the ability into the television versus requiring an external box is enough to persuade the general populace.

One thing is certain however, as someone who has had access to the internet in my home theater for nearly two years now, I won’t use it. I’m a big believer in right tool for the right job and the idea of sitting down on the couch to ‘surf the web’ doesn’t exactly thrill me.

On the other hand I do use my Mac mini to view new movie trailers from time to time and if this is angle these companies are targeting, then more power to them. However if they are still following the flawed WebTV model, I’m not so optimistic on their chances for success. Speaking of optimism, it warms my cynical heart to see Sony and Toshiba working on the same project, if only… ah never mind.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Display Technology


Comments

  • shakaZOLO

    Hey man, I agree on the quality issue. I don’t think you’ll find a post where I say that Blu-ray will offer better quality. I’m sticking to the notion that the release of PS3 will be a tipping point.

  • shakaZOLO

    Hey man, I agree on the quality issue. I don’t think you’ll find a post where I say that Blu-ray will offer better quality. I’m sticking to the notion that the release of PS3 will be a tipping point.

  • B.Greenway

    Come on Shaka, I hope you know me better than that. It’s way too early for crowing over 3 titles. Sooner or later someone will botch a few more HD DVD transfers and the other side will proclaim victory, just as some have on this round and then we’ll be back to square one.

    I’m satisfied enough that the “Blu-ray is better” talk has at least subsided a bit. I’m more looking forward to talking about what really matters. Overall image quality (based on way more than a handful of titles) and how quickly can either side reach price points low enough to get fence sitters to move toward either format, in meaningful numbers.

    This does raise one interesting scenario though. It seems likely that Blu-ray will continue to use MPEG2, AVC and at some point even VC-1, with no clear standard codec for their transfers. They’ll also at some point probably (on special titles) even get around to using 50GB discs.

    I’m picturing a Blu-ray chart that lists release dates, studios, codecs used, whether or not they use any of the low-loss or lossless audio formats and even whether the movies use the 50GB discs or not.

    While the HD DVD chart just has release dates, as the overwhelming majority of the titles will use VC-1 and DD+ at a minimum. Should be interesting.

  • B.Greenway

    Come on Shaka, I hope you know me better than that. It’s way too early for crowing over 3 titles. Sooner or later someone will botch a few more HD DVD transfers and the other side will proclaim victory, just as some have on this round and then we’ll be back to square one.

    I’m satisfied enough that the “Blu-ray is better” talk has at least subsided a bit. I’m more looking forward to talking about what really matters. Overall image quality (based on way more than a handful of titles) and how quickly can either side reach price points low enough to get fence sitters to move toward either format, in meaningful numbers.

    This does raise one interesting scenario though. It seems likely that Blu-ray will continue to use MPEG2, AVC and at some point even VC-1, with no clear standard codec for their transfers. They’ll also at some point probably (on special titles) even get around to using 50GB discs.

    I’m picturing a Blu-ray chart that lists release dates, studios, codecs used, whether or not they use any of the low-loss or lossless audio formats and even whether the movies use the 50GB discs or not.

    While the HD DVD chart just has release dates, as the overwhelming majority of the titles will use VC-1 and DD+ at a minimum. Should be interesting.

  • shakaZOLO

    Bryan,

    I can’t believe this hasn’t made your post yet!!!!!

    http://www.highdefdigest.com/feature_blurayvshddvd_firstcomparison.html

    Aren’t you gonna crow?

    shaka

  • shakaZOLO

    Bryan,

    I can’t believe this hasn’t made your post yet!!!!!

    http://www.highdefdigest.com/feature_blurayvshddvd_firstcomparison.html

    Aren’t you gonna crow?

    shaka

  • finishdish

    Here’s a decent IPTV player for OSX that’s been getting some attention (from me at least)…

    http://www.getdemocracy.com/

  • finishdish

    Here’s a decent IPTV player for OSX that’s been getting some attention (from me at least)…

    http://www.getdemocracy.com/