January 7, 2011

Internet Connected televisions, and...

I returned today from CES, the massive Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Whereas last year, the talk of the show was 3D television, this year is featuring Internet-connected televisions, often featuring app stores to allow for web powered content to display on TVs, such as weather and sports scores, but also including the ubiquitous Netflix widgets and other filmed content options.

The problem they are all trying to solve is this: in a world where content is increasingly available and delivered via the Internet, how can that experience be integrated into the television? The incumbent content distributors - the cable companies - want to integrate and channel the available Internet options through the set-top box, maintaining their primacy as the content gatekeepers and keeping your monthly cable bill getting paid.

Does anyone really want to check-in on Facebook on their TVs? My sense is that like the 3D TVs at last year's CES, the new crop of Internet connected TVs will not be an out-of-the-gate "must have," but will rather slowly infiltrate the living room as TVs get replaced; and TVs last a long time these days . . .

So, how will Internet-delivered entertainment get from your computer to the TV? Via HDMI connections from your computer to the TV? Add-on boxes such as the Roku? New devices such as the VeeBeam? All of that and more?

How do you watch Internet content on your TV?

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