Powerbud (A consumer) – You touched on something very quickly that I, as a consumer and owner of a “SmartTV” would like to offer one (mine) opinion on. Your industry seems to be rocketing towards the likes of the stereotypical used car salesman approach to hawking their wares. What the mfr’s seem to be doing is fabricating meaningless “features” in order to B.S. potential buyers into purchasing their specific brand. Let’s reference “refresh rates” for instance. How many of the so-called “major” brands now have their own terminology that they’ve fabricated with their sales pitch that every other brands terminology, or even “Hz” as being inaccurate? Answer: All of them. I happen to have a Vizio. I watch sports a lot which needs a fast refresh rate to reduce blur of the moving objects. Vizio isn’t the only guilty manufacturer who fabricated their own term “SPS” to fool buyers into thinking they’re getting something they’re not. And I fell for it. Sony does it, Panasonic, all of them. The industry as a whole is turning into a band of snake oil salesmen and they’re puzzled when we don’t buy their latest song and dance about what their tv does. The only thing that surprises me, is that people like you and the so-called “industry experts”, marketing and sales exec’s at the manufacturers still seem to believe that you know better what I want than I do as a buyer/consumer. It’s not rocket science as they say. I want a tv that I can view all sorts of images on, easily, without annoying and constant SW updates to be downloaded every time I turn the thing on. I want it to last for more than a couple years; I want a live person who speaks English fluently when I call Tech Spt. Those are the basics, but surprisingly few tv manufacturers seem to grasp these basic consumer needs. I recently bought a smaller tv for my bedroom. It’s an LG, 32″, 60hz, 720p. It actually starts up in a 5th of the time that my 47″ Vizio does and I can’t tell the difference between Vizio’s 240 “SPS” and LG’s 60Hz refresh rates. That tells me that SPS is nothing more than B.S., just like Sony’s version or anybody else’s version for refresh rate measurements. So, if I don’t TRUST the company making the product, why would I care who makes it?
Your industry keeps pumping out stuff that most people don’t care about, but their response is always the same: The consumer doesn’t know what they want, so we have to tell them. No, we know what we want. Your industry just seems unwilling or incapable of hearing or understanding their (potential) customer base.
(My Response) – Dear PowerBud – I am really glad to hear from someone who is not specifically a TV technology evangelist, as in most TV debates or forums they normally are of course. It is nice to get something clear and direct and I sympathise with you. I sympathise with you because I am both a TV technologist and a Consumer and am, in fact, a victim of the hype and bluff and bluster surrounding CE TV manufacturing. I need a new TV and I am reluctant to buy anything at the moment because of the many things that you raise. Actually we have ‘Gadgets’ across the board that are sold to us everyday that have little or no real benefit to those we are actually replacing. Look at the iPhone and Android fiasco and the mountains of perfectly usable tablets & phones we discard on a daily basis…Alas this is consumerism.
All CE Companies saw TV arrive at a plateau – Black & White, Colour, SD, HD, then…..3D and now… SmartTV…to which they added CE TV Portals and only Fragmentation and False Promises. They are creating hype in order to sell and yes in many instances it is feature-sets that cannot be classified as a major shift in technology – it is just new icing on the same cake. I certainly have been trying to moderate in our TV world and have blogged negatively about the fluff that the TV industry puts out…I was called “Ant the Rant” by a Trade Journalist for a while as my opinions were all contrary to those that hype up out TV Technology land…i.e. 3D was my pet hate – I blogged against it for years and was even close to the main protagonists but they drove it forward relentlessly. It is a failure and should not be sold in my humble opinion but it is being forced upon us. (my blog is at http://www.tvangelist.wordpress.com).
So right now the CE Manufacturers are straddled across the traditional Broadcast World of TV (Cable, Satellite, Terrestrial & IPTV) and the Over The Top World of TV (WebTV, InternetTV, IPTV, OTT). You might notice that IPTV features in both sections because they are moving from Broadcasting to Delivery of OTT content which is different) – The whole world of TV Technologists are paid to make the business turn and at the moment it is around Smart TVs, Portals, Apps and the belief that the TV will act as the Funnel of all things TV entertainment onto your average 36″ screen via the internet. (That is the average screen size sold in most of the world). The Consumer world of Retail TV is fragmented, confused and in a very ragged state that is not good for the consumer that is certain. On the other hand a good PayTV Operator who gets the hybrid mix right will certainly offer you a great service at reasonable costs, they will be responsible for Quality of Service and Provision but they will not please all the people all the time.