Friday, March 29, 2013

Trying to do too much

We're looking around for a new TV. The old one is a bit long in the tooth, although it's actually a staggeringly good TV - but it's a CRT and not HD (although it is a high-resolution TV that does upscaling), so eventually it'll become obsolete, we'll lose compatibility with everything providing inputs, and it does take up rather a lot of space in the lounge.

One rather strange trend I notice is that almost every electronic device attempts to include everything but the kitchen sink. All the Smart TV stuff is, frankly, gunk.

And it's broken at so many levels. Let's cover a couple.

So, in a decent home cinema system, you connect all the inputs to an A/V receiver or some other master device. So why on earth would the TV have a gazillion inputs on the back as well?

Any decent TV seems to come with a million ancillary functions - all this Smart stuff. As do many Blu-Ray players. As do games consoles. As does your phone, computer, and tablet. There's massive duplication going on here. And why on earth, given that you are likely to have all these other devices already offering this functionality, would you want to cripple all your other devices with substandard clones of the same functionality.

I want my TV to display the best possible picture, and to concentrate purely on doing that. I want my Blu-Ray player to play disks, and to concentrate purely on doing that. I want my games console (if I could ever find any decent games, that is) just to be really good at gaming. Adding the extra functionality adds cost, leads to compromises in core function, and will soon become obsolete. Not only that, but the TV offers a much poorer interface that a dedicated device.

The crazy thing is that, in a fully connected home, integrating this level of functionality into every device is unnecessary. Want to browse the web on the big screen? Simply use AirPlay or the like to teleport the display from your laptop or tablet.

I guess my Unix background shows through here, but I want each device to do one thing and do it well, and then I can join them together to provide a complete solution.

1 comment:

Peter Tribble said...

And then there's this article about TVs becoming obsolescent in a couple of years.