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How Often Will You Have to Upgrade an Intel-Based TV?

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One of the big topics of discussion here at the Connections Conference is how televisions are evolving beyond just displaying moving images. As widgets, web video and social features come to TVs, televisions become more like PCs. Does this mean that you’ll have to upgrade your television set every few years like you do your computer?

I spoke with Wilfred Martis, director of platform strategy and planning for Intel’s Digital Home Group, (s INTC) to get his take. For the past few years, Intel has been making a concerted effort to get its chips into more consumer devices like televisions. First, Martis says, research indicates that people are replacing their TV sets more often — every seven years now, down from the previous 10-year life cycle. How much lower will that number go? Martis says none of Intel’s customers know for sure, but there are three approaches being taken:

1. Integrated, beefed-up chips. Chips are built directly into the television, but those chips come with enough performance to accommodate future innovation.

2. The modular approach. Chips are built into a module that the consumer could swap out and replace with something newer.

3. Separate boxes. TVs become thin, dumb panels that are connected by wire or wirelessly to a bundled box that has the chip inside it. As more processing power is required, the box is swapped out for a new one, but the panel remains.

Martis says he likes the third approach because the television itself becomes like a piece of art you hang on the wall. Of course, Intel will like anything that gets us to buy more devices…filled with more chips.

2 Responses to “How Often Will You Have to Upgrade an Intel-Based TV?”

  1. I am still amazed that there are not more “dumb” panels out there. Most everyone has some sort of electronics sitting near the TV, it seems very logical to me to put all of the processing in a separate box and make the TV more like a computer monitor.

    Granted, this means you would not need to update your TV as often, not good for those selling the TV…

  2. Funtomas

    Don’t worry, if TVs are used for mere video playback than even today chips are capable to that job. Since the future is in 3D I guess we’ll throw TV sets altogether – we’ll watch videos through glasses with a pair of tiny OLED chips built-in.