While we don’t commonly think of televisions as gadgets, there’s no reason they couldn’t be the biggest and best gadget in our homes. TV’s are commonly thought of as just a dumb screens, with all the smarts coming from our set-top boxes. What if that all changed ?
What if instead of television manufacturers trying to guess what consumer needs will be, that consumers decide what features they need. As their needs grow over the years, they can simply upgrade components.
The idea came from the ease in which consumers can purchase and upgrade their HDD on the Xbox 360. When we combine that concept with what we’ve learnt in the computer industry over the past 10-15 years and consumer’s love for customising, its easy to see why this is the future of television.
Additionally by offering TV’s with the bare essentials, it drives the cost down and dramatically lowers the cost of entry. The model of buying a TV then becomes very similar to that of a computer, users choose which features they want, but importantly, only the features they want.
The potential upgradable components are listed below.
- CPU/GPU (Single/Dual/Quad-core)
- Number of OTA tuners
- Number of HDMI ports
- Networking (WiFi / Ethernet / Bluetooth)
- SD card reader, USB 3.0
- HDD/SSD (for DVR storage)
- Optical Drive (DVD / Blu-ray)
- Pay TV add-in (Austar/Foxtel)
These Upgradable components could be purchased in-store or online and delivered to the consumers home. This model is likely to also create a vibrant aftermarket of parts from consumers who upgrade to the latest offerings. With an upgradable hardware platform, this also means software developers now have the horsepower to drive innovation in this space. TV’s today are typically built on top of some derivative of Linux, due to its stability and ability to run on low-spec hardware, with that barrier removed, you essentially have a HTPC built right into your TV. This eliminates the need for multiple set-top boxes, sorry Boxee, TiVo and Apple TV. Gaming consoles may still exist in their own right, which is catered for by via the HDMI or potentially Wi-Di connections.
IPTV / OTA Equality
Never before has IP-delivered television been given the same presence as over-the-air broadcasts. Usually relegated to complex set-top box setup requiring a change to the TV input, making it unappealing and unavailable to the main stream. IPTV streams can be added as favourite channels and are accessed by the standard channel up and channel down remote operations.