Summary: We will soon be replacing our TVs more often than our PCs as the television advances towards becoming a simple and functional living room PC. The dominant maker of this new hi-tech TV could be one of many companies that could overthrow the Microsoft monopoly.
And at the center of this transformation is the internet.
Mark Cuban recently said that we’ll soon be replacing our TV’s more often than we replace our PCs. I’d have to agree with Mark on this. The evolution of the living room is putting more pressure on the TV set to be able to do more.
Currently we can have countless extra TV add-ons: a DVD player, HD DVD/Blu ray player, Games Console, Media Extender, DVR, Slingbox, Sound system, browser functionality etc.
There is a real need for convergence and it is the TV set will be the center of this.
In essence the TV is becoming the PC except it will be more user friendly and simpler. There is a land of opportunity for the companies that can carry out this convergence successfully.
The end of Microsoft’s stronghold?
I’ve already seen my friends having fun browsing the internet on their HDTV using their PS3 and guess what? Microsoft and Internet Explorer are nowhere to be seen.
This is where Microsoft could quickly lose its dominance. People want simplicity, and while I and many others have no problems using a PC, so many people (grandmothers, mums, aunties, dads, girlfriends, dumb friends) have trouble with the internet and computers, either out of stupidity or laziness.
If I had a games console or DVR that allowed me to go on the internet, watch internet video, record TV, watch TV on demand and all the other little entertaining things I like to do I wouldn’t care if it was Microsoft, Apple, Linux, Sony or Ford that did it, just as long as it worked.
If it did work many households would no longer really need a PC because their TV could do it.
This new era may be 3-10 years away and the door is wide open for a new company to make its mark.
- Could it be the Slingbox sneaking in through the Window?
- Could it be a shiny grey Apple HD Television mounted on your wall?
- Could it be that permanently smiling TiVo TV walking into your living room with its little chicken legs?
- Could Microsoft hold its own and turn the Xbox 360 II into the master of the living room to domineer for another decade.
- Will Sony blow us away with a PS4 that can do absolutely everything?
- Or could it be some random stranger who we accept into our home and stare at for countless hours?
Disagreeing With Mark | “The internet is not old news”
Getting back to Mark Cuban: there is something that he said that I have to publically disagree with.
“Its time for everyone to realize that the internet is old news”.
Not my words, but Mark’s. Like many of his posts it seems aimed at putting fear, uncertainty and doubt into the whole internet video spectrum, whether it’s the dramatic decline of YouTube (wrong) or how the internet can’t hack HDTV (wrong), Mark doesn’t like the idea of internet TV taking over.
Obviously this has something to do with the fact that Mark Cuban has a big stake in HDTV, since he is the chairman of HDNet.
My opinion to Mark differs because I think that the internet and internet video will become the central theme of new TV technology.
Bringing internet HD video and internet browsing onto the TV set and merging it with many other TV accessories is the future of TV.