Vizio CTO: Tablets will kill small-screen TVs


iPads (s AAPL) and other tablets won’t kill off the laptop, but rather small-screen TVs, Vizio CTO Matt McRae told me during an interview at this week’s Google (s GOOG) I/O developer conference in San Francisco. “Instead of buying a 19 inch TV or a 24 inch TV, (people) may be more likely to buy a tablet,” he said.

McRae was at I/O to promote the company’s new Google TV set-top box, and he told me a bit about that device as well. Check out my interview with him below:

Vizio is still primarily known as a TV set manufacturer, but the company also started selling Android tablets last summer, and recently added laptop and desktop PCs to its inventory. And this week, it announced the Co-Star, a Google TV set-top box that will be available for pre-orders for $99 next month.

McRae told me that he ultimately sees all of these screens – TVs, PCs, tablets and smart TV devices – working together to deliver content to consumers. Asked about the market share of Google TV, he provided a rather diplomatic answer, pointing towards a growing market share for smart TVs in general. “The penetration for smart TVs is skyrocketing,” he told me.

Check out my e-book Cut the cord: All you need to know to drop cable to read how media blogger Jim Romenesko replaced all of his TVs – even the big ones – with an iPad.


Tylor Sweeney

I would assume that a small screen TV is anything under 32″. 32″ and above would still be big enough to provide a better experience than a tablet. As someone who owns a 24″ television for my bedroom, I know that a tablet would offer a better visual experience than my TV, primarily because the distance between my eyes and the TV is large enough that quality loss is evident.

By switching to a tablet, I not only get better content clarity due to the distance being reduced, but I also get the portability of a tablet. I don’t think anyone would consider buying a tablet over a 42″ or even a 32″ or 36″ television, but for the really, really low end of the television space (<32"), I could see tablets being a more popular alternative.

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