Here Come the ‘Internet Ready TVs’

Last week I briefly blogged about the Internet coming to TV. Sling Catcher now goes “both ways,” streaming Internet video to TV as well as TV to PCs. Obviously Apple TV does a version of this too. Indeed, there are now a range of boxes and ways to get online video onto a TV screen.

Today both the WSJ and the NY Times offer a preview of TVs that to varying degrees are incorporating Internet access capabilities without the need for a set-top box. From the Journal:

On Monday, Netflix Inc. is expected to announce a deal with Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. that will make a Netflix online-video service available on a new line of high-definition TV sets from LG due out this spring. The online service offers 12,000 movie and television titles.

Amid other developments pegged to this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Yahoo Inc. and Intel Corp. plan to announce support from several major consumer-electronics companies to sell TV sets that come with software, dubbed widgets, that make it easier to call up Web content on TV sets using ordinary remote controls rather than computer keyboards.

The Times’ piece is generally about whether consumers will bite on Blu-ray or whether they’ll simply bypass the technology and go for the new generation of Internet-enabled TVs:

This year will be crucial for the new format. Heavy holiday discounting and the natural decline in electronics prices over time have pushed prices for some Blu-ray players under $200, a drop of well more than half in the last few years — and into the realm of affordability for many. At the same time, Blu-ray’s backers, including Sony and the Walt Disney Company, face a growing chorus of skeptics that says the window for a high-definition disc format may be closing fast.

One reason is that discs of all kinds may become obsolete as a new wave of digital media services starts to flow into the living room. On Monday, for example, the Korean television maker LG Electronics plans to announce a new line of high-definition televisions that connect directly to the Internet with no set-top box required. The televisions will be able to play movies and television shows from online video-on-demand services, including Netflix.

Beyond these new TVs, Blu-ray is trying to gain adoption at a time when consumers are less likely to replace perfectly good DVD players and disks. Blu-ray really hasn’t successfully made the case to the public and the recession makes it more of an uphill battle for the new format.

The “win” over HD last year may turn out to be a Phyrric victory.

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4 Responses to “Here Come the ‘Internet Ready TVs’”

  1. John W Says:

    If Blu-ray doesn’t gain traction, it won’t be due to IPTV replacing it. Having come out of the pay-tv video space, IPTV faces hurdles that don’t get a lot of airplay. While millions of homes have high-speed internet, the challenge is getting bandwidth hungry video content from the cable modem/router to the TV. Usually the cable modem (vis a vis the PC) is not in the same room as that fancy flat-screen hi-def TV. Yes, newer homes have cat 5 wiring which gets around this but for older homes the best option is IP over powerline (i.e. your electrical wiring). While using a home’s electrical wiring is an option, the throughput can vary greatly.

    IPTV, like blu-ray will be a niche high-end play at best. I have a fancy 1080i HD TV and regular DVDs look just fine to me.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    I discussed the two issues in the same post, but the real “death of Blu-ray” will be its “frivolousness” — the fact that it’s at best a “nice to have” and not a must have.

    As I said, Blu-ray is trying to gain adoption at a time when consumers are less likely to replace perfectly good DVD players and disks. Blu-ray really hasn’t successfully made the case to the public and the recession makes it more of an uphill battle for the new format.

  3. The Internet on TV: Part Deux « Screenwerk Says:

    […] Some new TVs that have the “Internet inside” […]

  4. Yasuko Bashore Says:

    Very good post. I’ve found your blog via Bing and I’m really glad about the information you provide in your posts. Btw your sites layout is really messed up on the Chrome browser. Would be really great if you could fix that. Anyhow keep up the great work!

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