Smart TV evolution
The expectations of our TVs have changed: we now expect our team to do much more than just flip through the TV channels. Consumers have been able to sample a wide range of online content available through TVs, allowing them to watch shows they may have missed through apps like Plus7 and I-View, and “rent” the newest video release directly from the TV from apps like Bigpond TV. Content that we traditionally only accessed on our PC is now available to us through our televisions, Blu-Ray players, and home theater systems, bridging the gap between the Internet and television.
One of the most attractive capabilities of smart TVs is the ability to stream movies over the Internet directly to our big screen. This has revolutionized the way many people access their videos, and the video rental industry is beginning to feel the pinch. In fact, Samsung just announced that it signed a deal with Blockbuster to bring more movies to Samsung devices. Blockbuster’s new streaming service is expected to hit the US and Europe in early 2012 and Australia in September.
Bigpond Movies has been available on Samsung and LG TVs for a couple of years now, and this represents a collection of thousands of new and back catalog titles streaming to your TV over the Internet. No more leaving the house to go to the video store, or racking up late fees for that disc you forgot to return.
Quickflix has previously been available on Sony TVs and Blu-Ray players, and thanks to a recent deal, Samsung has teamed up with Sony to partner with the online DVD subscription service and develop an app that will allow Australian users to stream video content to your Samsung Smart TVs.
Sony is also bringing us its own streaming service, Video on Demand, which offers late-release movies in the option of HD or a cheaper SD version, for those of us who don’t have the fastest internet speeds available or just adjust our wallets.
Consumers are also beginning to use services such as T-box from Telstra and FetchTV, a similar service from Optus, over traditional cable or satellite connections from Foxtel and Austar. This has become a billion dollar industry in Australia, with nothing but growth forecast in the near future.
There are also a plethora of multimedia devices available on the market such as Apple TV, Boxee and WD Live, so we now have the widest choice of Internet content available for us to watch on our TV screens than ever before. Two of the most powerful media hubs have grown out of Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox, with the latter recently also being able to stream a wide selection of Foxtel channels including movies and sports over the Internet. Both also have movie streaming services available.
Smart connectivity also opens up a lot of options for us when it comes to TV channels. Almost all major TV manufacturers have ABC’s popular I-View app pre-loaded in their menus. ABC iview is an up-to-date service featuring the best of ABC TV. You can watch your favorite shows in full screen at your leisure. Most shows are available to watch for 14 days and new shows are added every day.
Another ever-present app in the arsenal of any Smart TV is PLUS7. Plus7, from Yahoo and Channel 7, offers streaming video of full episodes as seen on Seven, 7mate and other content partners. High-quality full-screen videos are available for immediate streaming. New episodes are added daily and are available up to 28 days after airing. You can pause, fast forward, and rewind shows, and they’re all available to watch on your TV in full screen. PLUS7 also includes an email reminder service so you don’t miss watching shows before they expire. There is also the option to share videos with friends via email and Facebook.
BBC’s iplayer is another video-on-demand service providing access to the bulk of the BBC’s massive television archives, with over 1000 hours available at launch and “hours” of additional footage “added regularly” . Available content includes BBC news, documentaries, entertainment, drama, science and nature, as well as family and kids, music and culture, and comedy and lifestyle. There are also collections of the best BBC exports such as Dr Who, Little Britain, A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Absolutely Fabulous and more.
Bigpond TV is available through LG Smart TVs and Samsung Connected TVs (with Internet on TV functionality). This is also the same service available through Telstra’s T-Box. Bigpond TV is a TV channel streaming service that provides us with channels like AFL TV, NRL TV, Bigpond News, Bigpond Sport and Bigpond music and more. According to a study by the independent telecommunications research company Telsyte, one in ten subscription TV services in Australia is delivered via broadband and they predict that by 2015, one third of all pay TV services will be delivered. through broadband networks.
This is an obvious concern for cable subscription companies Foxtel and Austar. Austar, in particular, has seen a big downturn in its fortunes as it faces increasing competition from cheaper Internet TV rivals like FetchTV, iiNet and Internode, available from as little as $10 a month. With streaming Internet TV content available on Smart TVs, like first-run movies and TV shows, as well as many new free digital channels, compared to a cable subscription starting at $45 a month plus possible box charges, consumers are voting with their wallets in droves.
TV giants Sony and Samsung will have music streaming services available on their Smart TVs, with Samsung’s “Music Hub” launching soon ready to revolutionize the connection between our music and our devices like never before.
Samsung’s Music Hub gives us access to shared music without the need to download and transfer content from one device to another, and the service will be available on Samsung Smart TVs, Samsung Smart Home Theaters and Blu-ray Discs. smart in mid-December. The music center offers owners of Smart TVs, Smart Home Theater and Smart Blu Ray players access to more than 10,000 music videos with the premium subscription.
The technology stores music playlists in a cloud, and music can be accessed from individual devices anywhere in Australia where an internet connection is available. One interesting feature is the “follow me” function, which allows users to start listening to stored music via a mobile phone, before picking up the same playlist when they get home via their TV.
Sony Music Unlimited has been available for a couple of seasons now, on phones, Bravia Smart TVs, PlayStation 3, and Sony PCs and tablets. There are over 10 million songs available on demand, from independent artists to blockbuster superstars. Thousands of new songs are added every week, and you can create and edit an unlimited number of playlists, as well as listen to any song you want as often as you like. There are internet radio channels categorized by genre, era, or mood. You can “Like” or “Dislike” tracks to customize channels to your personal taste, and you also have the ability to create new channels based on your favorite artists.
How smart will smart TVs be this year?
Viewers will be able to control their TV using facial recognition, in addition to voice and gesture controls, and move away from the traditional TV remote, similar to Microsoft’s XBox Kinect. LG and Samsung demonstrated voice and gesture controls on their next-generation TVs at CES 2012.
Samsung’s new 8 series TV, the ES8000, has built-in gesture recognition, via a camera that recognizes hand gestures and prompts you to change channels, adjust volume, move an on-screen cursor, and more.
Samsung and LG introduce voice control to some models in their 2012 lineup. Current LG Smart TV owners may be familiar with the Magic Motion Remote, which allows you to control an on-screen cursor similar to how a Nintendo controller works. Wii. This year will see an update to the Magic Motion remote that now offers voice recognition functionality. A microphone on the remote sends your voice to your Smart TV, allowing the user to search the web, tweet and post on Facebook, all using spoken words.
Panasonic has developed a new “flick” technology and believes it will open up new ways to display content from our mobile devices in perfect picture quality on a Viera TV. This will revolutionize the connectivity between our devices, allowing us to simply “tap” content to remotely stream photos, videos and web pages from Android or Apple products directly to the TV.
Another major feature coming is the ability to upgrade your TV with future features, without the need to buy a new TV. It will basically be in the form of an upgrade slot on the back of the TV and you will be able to purchase upgrade “kits” as they become needed and available.
Google has announced that LG, Sony and Vizio will showcase Google TV devices at CES 2012, with Samsung introducing Google TV later in the year, and Apple is also rumored to make TVs from 37″ to 50″, and reported iTV features, such as Siri-powered controls, iOS app support, AirPlay, iCloud support, and deep iTunes integration.
Sony has announced two Google TV add-on boxes in the form of a Blu-ray player and a network media player. These will ship to the United States and Europe shortly, and other parts of the world can expect to roll out later. Both boxes have a completely new remote control, with a backlit QWERTY keyboard with touchpad. The remote can also function as a universal remote for other devices, while the Blu-ray player also supports voice search.
death of the idiot box
The goal and vision of television manufacturers has advanced far beyond offering us great image quality. The ability to seamlessly link our media, whether on our phones, tablets or computers, with our home televisions has become paramount. A plethora of new content, in the form of apps bursting with movies, TV, and music, is moving us away from the traditional way we consume that content, putting heavy pressure on industries like traditional video and music stores, and cable TV. cable/pay. companies like Foxtel and Austar. What we used to have to leave home, now we have with a wave of the hand. The days of the lost remote control are disappearing fast, in fact, the days of using a remote control are disappearing completely. The idiot box has finally gotten smart!