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(Wired)   Shockingly enough it turns out that people don't want to tweet from their TV. Or read books. Or Fark. Because as it turns out, smart TVs pretty much suck   (wired.com) divider line 118
    More: Obvious, Apple TV, college kids, SimCity, Google TV, reading a book, Design for Loving, highlights  
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2582 clicks; posted to Geek » on 28 Dec 2012 at 10:10 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



118 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2012-12-28 02:03:14 AM  
I disagree...

I want to read books and fark.

/Not necessarily in that order.
 
2012-12-28 07:47:04 AM  
Hmm... I want to get one (once the kids get the x-box out of my living room) for Netflix. Do they do Netflix ok?
 
2012-12-28 09:57:32 AM  
Well, that's why it's called the Idiot Box.
 
2012-12-28 10:15:20 AM  

Earpj: Hmm... I want to get one (once the kids get the x-box out of my living room) for Netflix. Do they do Netflix ok?


Just get a regular TV and a Roku box. You'll probably come out ahead.
 
2012-12-28 10:17:37 AM  
Slow, horrible UI. Crappily written software. Whodathunk?

Then Apple will come out with their full Apple TV offering and it will sell like crazy and 'experts' will wonder why Apple is so successful and all the other manufactures will get their shiat together and start copying Apple when all they had to do for the last 5 years is do it better first and not let them into the market deep breath end rant.
 
2012-12-28 10:18:06 AM  
Worse, more than 40 percent of the people who buy a connected TV aren't even using it for its ostensible primary purpose: getting online video onto the biggest screen in your home. What gives?

Have you tried connecting a Smart TV to your router in order to use a cable modem? I did, I gave up after about 15 minutes, because the connection interface sucked, it was not responding like I expected it to, and I all ready have six devices that allow streaming video on them setup. Hell two of them, the X-Box and PS3 are all ready connected to my 72" HDTV.

Why would I waste a lot of time trying to duplicate capabilities I all ready posses?
 
2012-12-28 10:18:32 AM  
I can't imagine the interface or anything of a smart TV being any better than my Roku. I get Netflix, HBO GO, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu Plus if I decided to sign up for it. I also use Pandora when I'm having a party and Epix if I wanna watch a more recent movie.

What can a Smart TV do that my $80 Roku can't?
 
2012-12-28 10:18:41 AM  

Earpj: Hmm... I want to get one (once the kids get the x-box out of my living room) for Netflix. Do they do Netflix ok?


This. I helped my mother pick out a TV on boxing day and basically told her that video streaming (like
netflix) is the only real reason for having a smart TV and since she doesn't own an Xbox or PS3 having the smart TV built in would be nice but since she's probably buying a blu-ray player she can probably get one that is network enabled instead of getting the 'smart TV'. As it turns out the TV she wanted had 'Smart TV' anyway but it wasn't factored into her decision.
 
2012-12-28 10:19:39 AM  

tricycleracer: Earpj: Hmm... I want to get one (once the kids get the x-box out of my living room) for Netflix. Do they do Netflix ok?

Just get a regular TV and a Roku box. You'll probably come out ahead.


It is easier for people bad with technology for netflix/hulu/amazon video
 
2012-12-28 10:20:03 AM  
I'm baffled that people don't want to be bothered with tweets from their stupid sister in law while they're watching their favorite television program.
Baffled.
 
2012-12-28 10:20:10 AM  

wholedamnshow: I also use Pandora when I'm having a party


This is the coolest feature. Do you have the remote app on your smartphone? You can pause and skip tracks from anywhere in the house.
 
2012-12-28 10:20:30 AM  
Smart TV's are good for one thing, streaming. Makes it so much easier to ditch the cable.

/Why are cables so expensive anyway?
 
2012-12-28 10:22:56 AM  

Earpj: Hmm... I want to get one (once the kids get the x-box out of my living room) for Netflix. Do they do Netflix ok?


I just got one (a Samsung 6100 model). Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, and the like seem to work well enough. It has a browser which is sort of finicky and not super useful. I use the Samsung TV Remote app on my phone (Android, but there should be an iOS one as well) which works over wifi and lets you use your phone to navigate all the TV's functions and its keyboard to type. Typing with the remote is maddening. The one I have will also accept input from (I believe) a bluetooth keyboard which I haven't given a go yet. You can also hook up an external HDD to the TV and play media from it which I suppose is a nice bonus though I haven't tried that yet either.
As a whole, it's less user friendly than the Roku box I've had for a few years. If all you want is access to Netflix, YouTube and the like it's decent enough at that.
 
2012-12-28 10:23:41 AM  

mayIFark: Smart TV's are good for one thing, streaming. Makes it so much easier to ditch the cable.

/Why are cables so expensive anyway?


They are gold plated monsters.
 
2012-12-28 10:24:38 AM  
I just have a computer or laptop hooked up to each of my TVs. Interface is the same, I keep the resolution low for reading, and I can download and/or watch whatever I want. I don't tweet, and I rarely use Facebook when I'm online on TV. Mostly it's for music, streaming and downloaded movies.
Connect a 3TB external drive to a laptop, which is connected to the TV. All the movies you want.

I haven't looked into Roku yet. Maybe I should.
 
2012-12-28 10:25:09 AM  
None of what's been offered so far comes remotely close to a good XBMC setup.
 
2012-12-28 10:27:43 AM  
Oh, and I forgot to mention, wireless keyboards are relatively cheap. They're much easier to use than a lot of remotes are.
 
2012-12-28 10:35:10 AM  

Dorf11: None of what's been offered so far comes remotely close to a good XBMC setup.


Agreed, XBMC is the gold standard of media client software. Openelec is pretty sweet too for the "turn any computer into a media playback creature by booting off a USB stick".
 
2012-12-28 10:37:03 AM  

Khryswhy: I just have a computer or laptop hooked up to each of my TVs. Interface is the same, I keep the resolution low for reading, and I can download and/or watch whatever I want. I don't tweet, and I rarely use Facebook when I'm online on TV. Mostly it's for music, streaming and downloaded movies.
Connect a 3TB external drive to a laptop, which is connected to the TV. All the movies you want.

I haven't looked into Roku yet. Maybe I should.


I use Google TV (Vizio Co-star). Even though the software can really use some bug fixes, it still works pretty well for me.

Never used Roku, but for the same price, Co-star was supposed to be the better choice.
 
2012-12-28 10:42:34 AM  
It's all about the user interface, most "internet capable" devices have horrid UI's. Hell even the comcast on demand interface is a miserable experience, it really doesn't seem like it should be all that complicated.
 
2012-12-28 10:43:23 AM  

BumpInTheNight: Dorf11: None of what's been offered so far comes remotely close to a good XBMC setup.

Agreed, XBMC is the gold standard of media client software. Openelec is pretty sweet too for the "turn any computer into a media playback creature by booting off a USB stick".


Openelec is pretty nice on a Raspberry Pi as well, though the low specs really limit the choice of skins. My Rpi is duct-taped to the back of an old tube TV in the basement, connects to the house NAS + Internet - instant $35 full-featured 'smart TV'.
 
2012-12-28 10:43:49 AM  

mayIFark: Smart TV's are good for one thing, streaming. Makes it so much easier to ditch the cable.

/Why are cables so expensive anyway?


They're not: www.monoprice.com
 
2012-12-28 10:45:55 AM  
This just seems pointless to me. I've got a laptop and a TV. I've got an HDMI cable. I've got a wireless mouse & keyboard. I already enjoy all the advantages of both a computer and a TV on my TV screen. Why would I need to get an entirely new TV to do what I can already do anyway?
 
2012-12-28 10:48:18 AM  
I have a "smart" TV. The music streaming feature is capped at 1000 songs and takes 3-4 minutes to fully access. The video streaming feature only supports one specific format. The photo viewer (also capped at 1000 photos) needs to reindex all the photos every time it's started. I'm pretty sure the whole concept was someone's idea of a joke.
 
2012-12-28 10:49:04 AM  
I have a dumb TV, but I have Smart apps on my Blu-Ray player. I rarely use any of them besides Pandora.

But I farking love the Pandora. I expected it to sound like shiat, but the fidelity isn't half bad, really.
 
2012-12-28 10:53:20 AM  
I just set up a Viera E50 as a standalone media renderer in my family room. It replaced an LCD+HTPC setup.

Once folk get a sense of the capabilities, TFA will be dead wrong. The Netflix/Amazon/Pandora apps get used daily, but those really aren't the hook. The sweetness of the deal is the DLNA client plus the availability of cheap, huge HDDs. One can use MakeMKV to get raw rips of their DVD/Bluray collection for immediate playback, then queue up Handbrake to compress them down to storage size (800mb for 480p DVDs, ~3GB for 1080p Bluray).

But I'll admit; an XBMC client app for the TV would be effin sweet. I wonder if the legalese would bar such a thing from Panasonic's app store....?
 
2012-12-28 10:54:16 AM  
So it's a Smart Idiot Box?
 
2012-12-28 10:57:41 AM  

Last Man on Earth: Why would I need to get an entirely new TV to do what I can already do anyway?


I moved my old setup to the entertainment room. Mounted the new TV to the wall. Additional floor space, lower net power consumption, sleeker setup, and retained the important features.
 
2012-12-28 10:59:29 AM  

tricycleracer: wholedamnshow: I also use Pandora when I'm having a party

This is the coolest feature. Do you have the remote app on your smartphone? You can pause and skip tracks from anywhere in the house.


I do and it's awesome. The app is simple, intuitive, and responsive.
 
2012-12-28 11:01:23 AM  

janeuner: I just set up a Viera E50 as a standalone media renderer in my family room. It replaced an LCD+HTPC setup.

Once folk get a sense of the capabilities, TFA will be dead wrong. The Netflix/Amazon/Pandora apps get used daily, but those really aren't the hook. The sweetness of the deal is the DLNA client plus the availability of cheap, huge HDDs. One can use MakeMKV to get raw rips of their DVD/Bluray collection for immediate playback, then queue up Handbrake to compress them down to storage size (800mb for 480p DVDs, ~3GB for 1080p Bluray).

But I'll admit; an XBMC client app for the TV would be effin sweet. I wonder if the legalese would bar such a thing from Panasonic's app store....?


You're the reason why Smart TV's suck (and I don't mean that as an insult, merely an observation). What you think is cool is completely beyond the abilities (or desires) of a typical TV consumer. Unfortunately, it's people like you who are currently designing Smart TVs. This is one of the reasons why Apple is so successful: they design products that your 68 year old mother in law can use, not products that are only useful to a fourth-year computer science major.
 
2012-12-28 11:01:34 AM  
It's the same reason you don't put paragraphs of small text in a Powerpoint presentation.

Ever seen a billboard with more than 140 characters on it?

Ever get close to your 70" TV and realize the pixels are huge compared to your laptop.

Laptops and tablets have been a boon to reading because it's a stable screen at arms length.
 
2012-12-28 11:02:19 AM  

Earpj: Hmm... I want to get one (once the kids get the x-box out of my living room) for Netflix. Do they do Netflix ok?


Works perfectly on my LG, as does amazon.
 
2012-12-28 11:04:11 AM  

wholedamnshow: I can't imagine the interface or anything of a smart TV being any better than my Roku. I get Netflix, HBO GO, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu Plus if I decided to sign up for it. I also use Pandora when I'm having a party and Epix if I wanna watch a more recent movie.

What can a Smart TV do that my $80 Roku can't?


Not cost you the extra $80, not require an extra plug in your powerstrip, not require one extra cable to your TV. It's basically a Roku built into the TV.
 
2012-12-28 11:05:30 AM  

Last Man on Earth: This just seems pointless to me. I've got a laptop and a TV. I've got an HDMI cable. I've got a wireless mouse & keyboard. I already enjoy all the advantages of both a computer and a TV on my TV screen. Why would I need to get an entirely new TV to do what I can already do anyway?


Well, eventually you'll need a new TV. When you do, it'll already be a smart TV.
 
2012-12-28 11:06:46 AM  

janeuner: I just set up a Viera E50 as a standalone media renderer in my family room. It replaced an LCD+HTPC setup.

Once folk get a sense of the capabilities, TFA will be dead wrong. The Netflix/Amazon/Pandora apps get used daily, but those really aren't the hook. The sweetness of the deal is the DLNA client plus the availability of cheap, huge HDDs. One can use MakeMKV to get raw rips of their DVD/Bluray collection for immediate playback, then queue up Handbrake to compress them down to storage size (800mb for 480p DVDs, ~3GB for 1080p Bluray).

But I'll admit; an XBMC client app for the TV would be effin sweet. I wonder if the legalese would bar such a thing from Panasonic's app store....?



2.bp.blogspot.com


Do you really think the average person cares about any of that stuff? Everything you said after "Netflix/Amazon/Pandora," 99.9% of the population doesn't give a shiat about.
 
2012-12-28 11:06:54 AM  

WhippingBoy: janeuner: I just set up a Viera E50 as a standalone media renderer in my family room. It replaced an LCD+HTPC setup.

Once folk get a sense of the capabilities, TFA will be dead wrong. The Netflix/Amazon/Pandora apps get used daily, but those really aren't the hook. The sweetness of the deal is the DLNA client plus the availability of cheap, huge HDDs. One can use MakeMKV to get raw rips of their DVD/Bluray collection for immediate playback, then queue up Handbrake to compress them down to storage size (800mb for 480p DVDs, ~3GB for 1080p Bluray).

But I'll admit; an XBMC client app for the TV would be effin sweet. I wonder if the legalese would bar such a thing from Panasonic's app store....?

You're the reason why Smart TV's suck (and I don't mean that as an insult, merely an observation). What you think is cool is completely beyond the abilities (or desires) of a typical TV consumer. Unfortunately, it's people like you who are currently designing Smart TVs. This is one of the reasons why Apple is so successful: they design products that your 68 year old mother in law can use, not products that are only useful to a fourth-year computer science major.


Average people can't use Netflix, Amazon, or Pandora?
 
2012-12-28 11:09:32 AM  

WhippingBoy: You're the reason why Smart TV's suck (and I don't mean that as an insult, merely an observation).


No insult taken. However, I disagree with the statement in practice. The smart TV does not require a Netflix account for operation. If you ignore the fluff, it behaves exactly the same as the dumb TV from yesteryear.
 
2012-12-28 11:10:49 AM  

wholedamnshow: Everything you said after "Netflix/Amazon/Pandora," 99.9% of the baby-boomer population doesn't give a shiat about.


FTFY
 
2012-12-28 11:11:08 AM  

meanmutton: wholedamnshow: I can't imagine the interface or anything of a smart TV being any better than my Roku. I get Netflix, HBO GO, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu Plus if I decided to sign up for it. I also use Pandora when I'm having a party and Epix if I wanna watch a more recent movie.

What can a Smart TV do that my $80 Roku can't?

Not cost you the extra $80, not require an extra plug in your powerstrip, not require one extra cable to your TV. It's basically a Roku built into the TV.


Browsing on Amazon right now, Smart TVs seem to cost more than $80 than their non-smart equivalents.
 
2012-12-28 11:15:04 AM  

janeuner: wholedamnshow: Everything you said after "Netflix/Amazon/Pandora," 99.9% of the baby-boomer population doesn't give a shiat about.

FTFY


I think you're overestimating how much people care about their TVs. I'm 30. Most of my friends are the same age or younger. I can't think of more than one of my friends that would be interested in any of those features.
 
2012-12-28 11:18:02 AM  

TheNewJesus: So it's a Smart Idiot Box?


It's an excellent driver. Excellent driver.
 
2012-12-28 11:22:32 AM  
Okay, apparently we keep making this mistake, so here's the lesson (again):

Computers can do what televisions can do and more
televisions shouldn't do what computers can do.

Just because I can check email and tweet and surf the internet from my ipad, laptop and phone doesn't mean everything should, the tv does just what it should do, a device for television shows, movies and video game consoles.

/failed in the 1990s with Interactive TV
//failed later with Current TV
///just doesn't work
 
2012-12-28 11:28:16 AM  
I have a Roku to get all my streaming services and am looking into maybe using a Rasberry Pi just to fart around with and see what I can get it to do.

The TV I have is huge and has all those net enabled features but as has been said before the UI is just terrible and a pain in the ass to use. Every so often I think to myself, "Hey, it would be nice to see that YouTube video on the big screen and after doing it I remember why I don't."

/YouTube is the only thing I can think of that Roku can't connect to directly without a workaround.
 
2012-12-28 11:28:49 AM  

wholedamnshow: I can't think of more than one of my friends that would be interested in any of those features.


Alas, the market exists.

Great Janitor: Just because I can check email and tweet and surf the internet from my ipad, laptop and phone doesn't mean everything should, the tv does just what it should do, a device for television shows, movies and video game consoles.


+1
 
2012-12-28 11:29:57 AM  
my Roku/Netflix is a loser...left out a third of Resovoir Dogs and will not show Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill.
 
2012-12-28 11:30:21 AM  
onlinerecenze.cz

Problem, meet solution. Solution, meet problem.
 
2012-12-28 11:34:07 AM  

wholedamnshow: What can a Smart TV do that my $80 Roku can't?


It saves you extra cabling and remotes. I like my "Smart" TV, but the only app I use on it is Netflix. Which is all I used on my old Roku before it died. In fact, my TV remote has a Netflix button on it. Very convenient.

Now, the software on the TV is a bit slow and clunky, but we're only in the first generation of Smart TVs. I expect it will get a lot better in a few years. For comparison, I just replaced my previous TV - one of the first TVs that had a built in digital tuner. The new TV picks up channels cleanly that the old TV couldn't even find, and we're only talking about a gap of 5 years here. In 5 years, this TV will be laughably out of date, I'll give it to my kid, and get something much nicer. It's the circle of technology.
 
2012-12-28 11:45:13 AM  

NewWorldDan: In 5 years, this TV will be laughably out of date, I'll give it to my kid, and get something much nicer. It's the circle of technology.


I cannot feel this way about televisions. Televisions are monitors. I wouldn't buy a computer monitor that has all sorts of crapware on it, because it only exists to be a display. I should only need to upgrade if there's an improvement of display technology that I would benefit from.

Mind you, I just bought my first HDTV a month or so ago. It has some apps, but I really don't care (any more than I care about whatever stupid apps the FIOS box has). I use it for football and for streaming my laptop's screen wirelessly (or I plug the computer in, if I'm gaming).
 
2012-12-28 11:48:26 AM  

Slaves2Darkness: Why would I waste a lot of time trying to duplicate capabilities I all ready posses?


why would you waste time having sex when you could just masturbate?
 
2012-12-28 11:50:47 AM  
I never quite understood the point of a Roku or similar when so many other devices you would want to hook to a TV offer the same features built in (I have a Blu-Ray player for this.) It also has a Netflix button. And not much more expensive than a dumb Blu-Ray player.

Actually, the most useful thing has been the DLNA capabilities - all the videos I make with my digital video camera of the kids' soccer games and whatnot are stored on a NAS and then streamed to the Blu-Ray player. This is awesomely useful, but not something that Joe Consumer is going to do. Which is too bad - whoever figures out how to make this easy ought to have a real popular product.
 
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