Sometimes a TV Should Just Be a TV

16 Comments

Upon reading a blog post about thefuture of widgets (tiny Internet apps) on the television, Stacey Higginbotham quipped: “Caller ID through my cable co, Twitter, weather widgets, Facebook, my actual TV program…I’m going to have to spring for an upgrade.” I think this is what she was referring to:

gigaom-twitter-on-tv

16 Comments

vinay

Coffee is great, beer is great, and both have their place in our life.

A place that serves coffee, might, with some luck (and with incredible planning) also end up serving great beer – or the other way round. But what about a place that takes this idea to an extreme and offers a combi of coffee and beer, in one glass ? Wierd. Very. Almost like widgets on a TV!

Widgets are productivity apps – just like coffee. You use them during the day to stay alert – to keep a tab on stock (in the post-recession world), to follow a news story, to see’s who’s winning the game. We also drink coffee for daytime socialising with colleagues, associates, friends. Similarly with widgets, you might want to follow tweets of colleagues and friends, you might want to watch that hilarious vid on youtube (or poor you, yahoo video) following a tweet.

As the sun sets, you get home. You want to lean back on the couch, down a beer, munch some junk, and watch a movie or a soap. And even if you prefer/insist on being “online 24*7” spare a thought for the people who share your roof. The TV is not a piece of furniture in your living room. It is the lively center piece around which the family gathers every evening. That’s where you have a snack, cuddle up with the loved ones, watch happy kids enjoying an re-run episode of Mr Bean. The evening is when I wouldn’t want to be bothered with productivity apps, and there would be several families that actually consider productivity apps as a pollution of the entertainment experience.

Now that doesn’t mean that there’s no bridge between the internet and the TV. There is. But clearly, it is not widgets. Widgets are the point-of-sale gimmick that can help push products. What the TV consumer wants every evening is not widgets – it is her choice of rich content experience, that plays with good picture quality on the large flat screen. Preferably with not having to go to a PC to setup that experience or pay for it.

The internet is the largest store of information in the world. It is becoming the single largest store of all entertainment content too. The TV is the tap which you turn on for entertainment experience. Piping entertainment to that tap makes a lot of sense (and fills a need-gap). Piping information (or infotainment) is polluting it. The sooner the yahoo’s and samsung’s of the world understand this, the sooner they are in profits. But wisdom (or even sanity) are not obligatory.

Krishna Baidya

you may call me old fashioned, but i think certain things are better leave it as its most simple and purest form.

swag

What are you talking about? That looks like ESPN today! I cannot watch a single sporting event without a crawl about badminton, promos for an upcoming golf tournament, etc.

Actually, the one thing I know next TV people are going to screw up: it’s one thing if your PC or smart phone locks up or crashes. It’s quite another when it’s the family TV set.

Robb Lewis

I look forward to the interactive capabilities of the digital TV’s but they should be careful NOT to make it like a PC and give users full control…including when I want to NOT see all of those widgets or be alerted and just my TV. Like when the Sharks are playing :-) @robblewis

Deano

Yeah the same thing happened to computers. I remember when they were so simple, you just typed in text commands and they responded with text.

Then they had to go and make the interface all graphicky and easy to use and someone else thought it was a good idea to connect all of the computers to each other and to so much information that I can’t possibly read it all.

Those were the days.

Trevor Gerzen

I personally love having access to all of those things be at my fingertips but one thing I’ve noticed is that with computers you have to do some work to make it an awesome “Media Center”. With a MC you shouldn’t get interrupted by anything that doesn’t pertain to your media content. I personally like Boxee for this reason. I have a lot of things at my fingertips but it’s all related to my media that I’m interesting in.
I’m all for integrating TV and Internet as much as the next techie. I just don’t think that slapping a bunch of widgets on a TV makes for the best user experience

Shayne Mauricette

The funny thing about the future is that no one really knows what things are going to look like. And I mean absolutely no one! The government certainly has no clue…journalism is now obsolete thanks to the blogosphere, and television…well, any market that generates 50 cents on the dollar for a return on investment is ripe for disruption. Widgets simply facilitate a disruptive path…I say the more the better.

Plus given the fact digital users access information in sound bites…I’m surprised the picture above wasn’t more cluttered…right?

Shayne
http://www.ResultsByVolume.com

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