Brian Clark at Gizmodo suggests Dell isn’t going to have any success selling HDTV’s as long as they are virtually clones of products from brands known in the TV world, such as Sharp, Panasonic and Sony – and he’s right. What Dell and other PC-makers can offer (and it’s not rapid online purchase and delivery – because people do need to see the screen) is added functionality – such as seamless connections to their PC’s (or Macs!), remotes that control their computers, Slingbox-type services that “sling” the picture from the TV back into the PC for recording, downloading, etc….
“Plain vanilla” LCD HDTV’s are commodities based on price, as almost all of them are equally good to the average eye (the videophiles will always pay a premium for the biggest, fastest, sharpest and best sounding). But the average eye is 95% of the market. So, Dell, etc… – let’s see some true convergence between your TV’s and PC’s. No one is really doing it – even Sony’s new Bravia sets with limited Internet connectivity aren’t a true hybrid product.
If you want to know what they should have, feel free to call or write me and ask for advice. But you don’t need a consultant to tell you what should be in these TV’s. Here are four key things new TV’s should incorporate:
- Wired/wireless connections to PC’s and Macs via USB, Firewire, Wi-Fi connections
- Cable card slots
- Hard drives with large storage capacity for storing downloaded/streamed media
- Connectivity to peer-to-peer services like Joost or Vudu without a computer
What else? Tell us what you think should be in next-gen TV’s.