One of the big trends to emerge so far this year is the connected television set. Just about every big TV manufacturer is coming out with a set that plugs into the web to deliver news, social networks and even over-the-top video to the big screen. But while we’re getting drips and drabs of online capabilities by way of widgets and such, we don’t have full web browsing access on our TVs yet, and that’s on purpose.
The lack of full Internet functionality stems from a combination of factors, according to an excellent write-up in today’s New York Times on the state of the browsable television, among them price, the fear of your TV “crashing,” and whether or not people even want browse the web on their TVs. From the article:
“Sony’s stance is that consumers don’t want an Internet-like experience with their TVs, and we’re really not focused on bringing anything other than Internet video or widgets to our sets right now,” said Greg Belloni, a spokesman for Sony. Widgets is an industry term for narrow channels of Internet programming like YouTube.
However, not all share Sony’s view. A company called Personal Web Systems is shipping a $150 adapter this quarter that will make TV sets fully Internet-enabled.
Given that my laptop is never far from my reach, I don’t see myself using the TV set to browse the web anytime soon. Plus, when I’m on the couch, I just want to relax. But there is a whole generation that expects just about anything with a screen to be connected to the web — why should the TV be any different?
How much of the Internet do you want on your television? Is the full web on the TV the way of the future?