Rambling thoughts on the future of "TV"

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by atmuscarella, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY


    The TV manufactures appear to disagree with your assessment of what people want. Apparently 100% of the TVs at CES were IPTV/Smart TVs and nearly 100% had some kind of 3D.

    The reality is for 2012 model TVs that unless someone is willing to take an off brand or entry level TV it is going to be a IPTV/Smart TV and if they want a higher end TV from a major manufacture it is also going to have some kind of 3D.

    I have no idea what all this stuff adds to the cost but the one thing that is for sure is that in 4 model years (2008 for my TV to 2012 for the TVs at CES) the price has dropped like a rock, many new features have been added, and the picture quality is even better. All in all I would say a very good trend.
  2. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Well-Known Member

    Apr 27, 2002
    I don't know what TV will look like in 10 years but I know what I will be doing if the networks and OTA can survive the internet TV revolution, the same thing I am doing now. I will still be using OTA with a DVR, Blu-ray, DVD, and internet streaming. For music I will be playing CD, SACD, DVD-A, Blu-ray and DVD-V, the same thing I am doing now.
  3. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    Since when have manufacturers been sympathetic to what customers actually want? They're all trying to shove 3D down our throats whether we want it or not. 3D has been out for a while so the manufacturing costs to include it probably don't add that much to the overall cost of the set. Like I said previously, a 3D set supposedly does a better job at 2D reproduction than a comparable 2D version of the same set. Many 3D sets are being sold without the 3D glasses to keep the price competitive. You're probably going to have to look long and hard to find a set that doesn't have 3D capability these days.

    Smart TV or IPTV features that are found in standalone media players shouldn't be all that hard or expensive to incorporate in a TV set. If you've ever opened up a media player there's not a lot of circuitry inside. Considering that the TV will already have it's own power supply, the addition of the Smart TV components shouldn't increase the cost of the set by more than about $25 or so.

    The whole point isn't whether the manufacturers are adding features the public wants but whether the features can be added without dramatically increasing the cost of any given set. It's all a marketing ploy to make the consumer think they're getting more bang for the buck, which may be true to a certain extent. If the consumer doesn't use the additional features they they haven't paid an extravagant amount to get them.
  4. larrs

    larrs Movie Fan-Addict

    May 2, 2005
    Interesting topic and one my wife and I got into just last night. We don't watch a ton of TV, but plenty. With Tivo over the years, we have ended up at somewhere between 10-15% live TV and the rest is recorded. Tivo has served that just fine for us- and has uncomplicated our lives- at least we thought.

    With Netflix, Vudu, Amazon, as well as our Tivo recordings and live sports, etc. we now have so much content we can't seem to function. It is feeling like it was 1996 all over again when we had our first DirecTV setup and had so much to watch that we couldn't decide (over 150 channels and nothing on...).

    We cannot keep our recorded shows cleared out, things we wanted to watch through Netflix are now no longer available and most things on Vudu and Amazon are too expensive.

    I hate to say it, but I think we may be headed like a snowball downhill into an "on Demand" Hulu/iStore-like world. You want it, you pay a little for it (and hold it on your device for a couple of days); but likely are FORCED to watch commercials, which paid for the cost of fiming. I know most of us could easily go for all of this except the commercials, but I get a feeling that is what we are going to get. And, I'm sure the quality will be OK, but certainly nothing to write home about. After all, mp3 proved we don't really care en masse about quality.

    Hope I'm wrong.
  5. aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

    Jul 14, 2002


    I tend to think my TV viewing won't change much either. I have had a Tivo for more than 10 years. For the most part, it's still the same. The majority of what I watch is recorded TV.

    I like the extras such as Netflix and the ability to transfer video from my PC but that probably accounts for only 10% of total Tivo usage.

    That being said, TV is a generational thing. I only know a world with cable. Ever since I knew how to use a remote control, we had cable. Younger people will have all sorts of new devices and ways of watching TV in 10 years and they will be attracted to it.
  6. bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

    Oct 31, 2007
    I think the biggest trend in the future is going to be moving off the TV and onto mobile devices... How do I take it with me?

    As for smart TV's... With the necesity of set top boxes to get any usable connectivity, TV menus have been dead for a long time - it makes no sense to spend time and money on them. Becides the volume graph - I have no idea what my TV Menus look like. :cool:

    I just do not think they are going to be popular very long.
  7. bdraw

    bdraw Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Tampa, FL
    The dirty little secret about smart TVs is that no one really uses those features. Much like 3D, people buy the high end TV for some other reason and never actually use that feature.

    The reason why no one uses them is because of the DVR or the cable box. How many people do you know that don't have some sort of set-top box, TiVo, provider box, or otherwise? So people use the box's remote and throw the TV's remote into a drawer and none of those so called smart features get used -- there's no smart button on the cable box remote.

    Even those new smart TVs that were demo'd at CES accessing premium cable content is nothing more than a novelty. For example. The Panasonic/TWC demo didn't support live TV and if you turned the TV off and on it went back to an input, not the TWC smart app. This means that if someone still wants to watch live TV -- which is 90% of everyone who's never heard of TiVoCommunity -- you still need a cable box, which can also access VOD etc, so why bother with the "smart TV" features?

    Bottom line is that as long as everyone needs a set-top box, the features in the TV won't get used.

    As for 3D, 4K etc. If you haven't experienced your favorite content in these formats, you really should refrain from commenting on them. Else, you'll end up sounding like those people who used to say SDTV was all they ever wanted.
  8. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Yep. It won't be long before all these "extra" features become standard.
    The tech will become cheap enough that it wouldn't make sense NOT to include it.
  9. rasmasyean

    rasmasyean New Member

    Jul 28, 2011
    Don’t forget another emerging product in the coming years called “Microsoft Surface”. It’s “commercially marked” for now, but as prices drop and things shrink, you’re going to have these touch/object sensitive Smart TV’s do much of the iPod crap kids (and many elders even) do today. Will it have a coax and cablecard/dongle slot in it? Maybe. Cable companies will no doubt still want to broadcast 5000 channels and exclusives to get you paying, but not everyone will be glued to this traditional business model.

    I mean, whether you still want a big axe monitor and “boxes” for the living room by then, they are going to try to get everyone to have a smart/touch/motion-control TV for their bedroom desk, bathroom, patio, backpack, pocket, floor, ceiling…hell anywhere you can afford to drop a measly $100 with the potential to spend hundreds more on “services”. Not to mention the $billions they will make on bundled software and advertisements.

    I have a strong feeling that common computing will be just done on some TV, often one that you got from some communications provider under a plan. I mean, why buy a computer/laptop when it will go obsolete in 2 years anyway and you will still have to pay to be connected. If you are still bent on “keyboards”, they’ll make you want the dual touch screen laptops. Because sooner or later laminating a few sheets of semiconductors will be cheaper than 104 plastic squares with 300 more rubber/ springs/ circuit board assemblies.
  10. rasmasyean

    rasmasyean New Member

    Jul 28, 2011
    While I do see this trend creaping in a little more, I'm afraid I still feel battery technology will be a limiting factor in this market. It would limit the size and type of content to become widespread. Because no one wants to carry really heavy batteries just to watch streaming TV for a short time. But I guess they can record it beforehand to aleviate this problem.
  11. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    Ironically, the streaming boxes are talking about ADDING a DVR function to their products. Boxee Box, Xbox, and a few others I can't recall, but so much for the death of the DVR. The DVR still has an appeal or is often the only way one can watch either OTA or cable/sat channels in a manner approaching the on-line experience. If I understood it correctly, Ubuntu TV will come to the HDTV functioning much like a DVR, and Dish's new Hopper whole home DVR will record the entire prime-time line-up of the big 4 broadcast networks using ONE tuner and save it for 8 days! It is clear they understand the value of the OTA network programming and NEED the DVR as of NOT violating copyright as per recent court decision (over-simply put that if it is stored locally, such as on a HDD at the customer's home or on a server that is accessible ONLY to that subscriber, it does not violate copyrights as it falls withing the "personal use" clause). So the DVR can provide PROTECTION for providers.

    First, Smart TV is all about Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, and to a lesser extent Blockbuster. Most people I know have absolutely NO interest in the loads of other offerings on, say the Roku or Boxee Box or even on the Smart TV.

    Second, it is all about the price. The ONLY reason OTT has taken off as it has is because Netflix is now only $8 per month and Amazon Prime at $75 a year is also a great value. Hollywood has already said it undervalued its content and how popular Netflix would become and WON'T make that mistake again. The question is this: what happens to the whole OTT model when Netflix has to eventually charge $15, then $20 plus per month? And that goes for the other guys as well. And no guarantee that Netflix would improve its on-line offerings, of course if they paid more money to the studios, but then Netflix would have to charge close to $30 per month IF that brings the on-line offerings even close to the DVD's they provide.

    As for the higher resolution TV's: I LOVE the idea of more resolution. However, none of the manufacture's talk about the INFRASTRUCTURE to support it. Where are broadcaster going to get the additional bandwidth to transmit it as they are STUCK with the legacy MPEG 2 and are already compressing to ugliness to provide the money making sub-channels. And I suppose DirecTV and Dish are gonna spend BILLIONS more on new sats or the cable cos. increased bandwidth, although FiOS may be the only infrastructure that can provide the higher resolution HDTV, but that is far from everyone. And all those productions houses and TV studios that have just finished the EXPENSIVE upgrade to HDTV are just gonna do it all over again for 4K? I don't think so. And considering how POORLY Blu-ray is being adopted by consumers, don't bet on the movie studios to pay increased costs to provide content on discs to be played back at home on the brand new 4K players will surely be expensive. And are people going to upgrade their brand new HDTV's to 4K anytime soon? The closest analogy I can think of is when Quadraphonic sound (the per-cursor to our 5.1, etc. sound systems today) was introduced far too soon after consumers made their investment in STEREO, no matter how superior (as we know it today) the 4 channel recordings and audio systems were. Consumer fatigue? As much as I LOVE the idea of 4K, etc., I'm not looking forward to paying the cost to upgrade what I have today.

    Add to this the fact that more people are going on-line to get their content, and I mean on their HDTV's, even if it is in crappy, choppy SD. And while a few services like Vudu offer great looking HD content and Dish seems poised to do the same with its acquisition of Move Networks some time ago, how is the internet backbone and ISP's going to handle all the 4K content on-line, as it must at some point not before too long, and the concomitant higher price for the tier with grater bandwidth to be paid to the ISP every month to enjoy such content? Add that cost to the new new high monthly Netflix subscription and Amazon, etc. and many people are back in the same situation they were with cable and satellite being "too expensive" compared to today's OTT offerings. It is ironic that Dish and Google are trying to build TV services via the internet, essentially starting from scratch to assemble a low cost service much like cable and sat today, but through the internet and with packages that do NOT contain the expensive sports offerings. In other words, everybody seems to be moving in all different directions right now.

    Today, the technology is changing too fast for the economics to make sense and is outpacing our infrastructure and the consumer's willingness to throw away all their investment in HDTV and Blu-ray. The pace of such change is truly boggling today.
  12. rasmasyean

    rasmasyean New Member

    Jul 28, 2011
    I think you're right. Unless you're main tube time is in front of "Avatar", "picture quality" is not all that big of a deal. There are many more ppl who are into "Family Guy". And I don't think HD or 3D matters...although it would be funny what they can do with Family Guy 3D jokes. :p There's the guy who goes home and turns on his $2000 music system with a glass of wine. Then there are 50 more who get the mp3 and stock ear plugs while social networking.
  13. rasmasyean

    rasmasyean New Member

    Jul 28, 2011
    It's like a smartphone. Some of these phones (unlocked) costs more that many TVs aside from the really large ones. But they really "last" about 2 years in terms of functionality if you're really into the "smart" part of the phone. And hundreds of millions of them end up in the landfills despite the fact that many ppl paid over $500 for them...or $200 with a plan that factors in the cost of the phone. And if you think about all those ppl who get "unlimited data plans" and use much less GB than alloted, it's equivalent to someone who buys a smart TV but hardly ever uses the features. But you will prolly want "the option in case you need it".

    I mean, the best way to look at it is that these things aren't really "durable goods". It's more like a carton of milk that will spoil. Do you always drink the whole carton before it spoils? But you buy it anyway.
  14. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    The point here is that no matter how bad you or engadget etc. wants it, the masses don't care. If they did the content would be made available, but in 4k's case at least it won't be in any significant amount, for a very long time. Same with 3D to a lesser extent - few are demanding the content in the home, it just comes by default with TVs now. As Series3Sub said, all you have to do is look at Blu-Rays vs. DVDs. There's no great demand for BDs, even if we all acknowledge that they are far superior.

    We are speculating on the future of TV - for 3D/4K the future will come by default but not because a lot of people really care about it, and the result is that the content will lag way behind the tech. A lot of this stuff is entirely being driven by the CE industry to sell new TVs, not because of interest in it.
  15. bdraw

    bdraw Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Tampa, FL
    That's a great point, lets look at Blu-ray vs DVD. People said no one wanted Blu-ray, yet here we are 5 years later and while TiVo only has 2 million subscribers, there are 40 Million homes with Blu-ray Disc players. And they aren't just unused PS3s either, as many new releases on Blu-ray outsell their DVD version.


    Businesses only make money if produce products customers are interested in buying. Your argument is the same one people made against HD 10 years ago and eventually the whole chicken and egg content problem gets worked out.

    I guess the saying that history repeats itself is still very true.
  16. Scyber

    Scyber Former ReplayTV User

    Apr 25, 2002
    Netflix is in the process of changing its target market for its streaming service. When Netflix first started, it was competing against the likes of Blockbuster and other video stories. Huge extensive collection at an inexpensive price. When it launched its streaming service it tried to replicate that model in the streaming space. However without the "first sale doctrine" to keep prices reasonable the content costs for streaming will simply keep increasing (as you correctly noted).

    But if you look at Netflix's recent actions, they are moving their streaming service to no longer be like a video store, rather they are trying to compete with the likes of HBO & Showtime. They are starting to produce original content ("House of Cards", "Lillyhammer", "Arrested Development reboot") and they are trying to sign exclusive deals (Dreamworks Animation movies starting in 2013). So their content selection will likely go down in the next few years, but it will be supplemented with original and exclusive content. That is how they will try to control their costs. I'm not saying they won't ever increase their price, but I doubt it will ever get to $30/month. I don't know how much HBO makes per subscriber, but I assume its less than $15/month since some TV providers offer it at that price (and I assume they take a bit off of the top)
  17. Joe01880

    Joe01880 I love my TiVo

    Feb 8, 2009
    I would agree yet companies like Yamaha, Denon, Pioneer, Onkyo and others make new models of H/T systems every year in many different price ranges from dirt cheap to out of your mind pricey and all stops in between so someones buying them.
    My point was the new OLED tech which can be 1/3" thick leaves no room for a sound delivery system. Without minmal exceptable audio people are not going to buy them. Understanding your idea of exceptable audio and mine may be different.
  18. Joe01880

    Joe01880 I love my TiVo

    Feb 8, 2009
    And how well it does will depend on how much its cost the consumer..and how well it it marketed!
  19. rasmasyean

    rasmasyean New Member

    Jul 28, 2011

    That's not how Netflix "started". Netflix believed that there was a business in sending out DVD's in the mail and getting it back on return. That is a convienience for the customer to not have to walk into a store and find out nothing is available to boot. In the beginning, it was prolly harder to get new releases on NetFlix than BB. It's only AFTER THE FACT that they branched out to streaming and other bait and hooks. But even now, ppl say streaming has a sub par selection so their main hook still stems from the fact that some president believed that you can send DVD's in a sleeve and still expect to get them back in one piece while ppl won't steal them.

    Yeah, but how many HT models are there compared to stuff like TV's. And how many units of each do they produce...especially the 5.1 ones. I see old models on sale all the time in Best Buy.

    And you don't really have to put the speaker in the frame. When it comes time that it will be too confined, the speaker will be in the base...and it adds weight to the stand this way too. This much is really obvious and doesn't take an engineer to figure out. I bet more "sound bars" are sold than full fledged HT systems even as they are the "new kid". Are you just trying to reach to the bottom of the bag to prove your point that OLED TV's are a stupid idea that no one will want to buy them including you? I may go out on a limb here but I have a feeling not many ppl said..."Oh, look at that CRT. It has a lot more room for a speaker in that big box so I'm going to get that instead of the LCD/LED because of the sound." :rolleyes: They are more likely to say the CRT has a better "refresh rate" in the early days than anything.
  20. rasmasyean

    rasmasyean New Member

    Jul 28, 2011
    I have a feeling that until they perfect the "no glasses 3D", 4K will be more popular than 3D. "3840x2160", is just an even mapping to current HD content so it will still look decent "stretched". But you have to remember that computer monitors are already > 1920x1080 for many years. A "Smart TV" will be just a large iMac. And if you really wanted to, you can watch 4 full HD mp4s/feeds on a 4K TV. lol

    But one day, when you bring home a roll-up TV from Best Buy and staple it onto your wall like a persian rug, you will see that 8K is necessary when while watching weather, you walk up to it to check your busy calendar and video-mail in a "little" foreground window in front of your face before leaving the house.

    And I don't know if there will be traffic laws invovled, but I would staple a weatherproof one onto my hauling trucks if I was in that business. :p

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