What’s in a box?

August 6, 2008

If the internet TV, or broadcast over IP is such a rage, and if YouTube is all we think the future of content has to offer, have you ever wondered why TV sets manufacturers are not responding to the change and giving their idiot boxes a bit of a smart “processing power”?

I have been personally trying to look for news that might tell me that one or two TV sets manufacturers are going to add features. Fucntions such as a Wifi connection, ability to perform certain tasks such as a calendar, or a task-list or even a contacts book etc. Afterall if home PCs are the order of the day, and if the PCs of today are turning into TVs of tomorrow, why cant TVs of today be PCs of tomorrow?

Well my prayers were answered and someone thought of making the box a bit more smarter than putting just a hard-drive in it for recording of programmes (LG etc). Toshiba recently announced the arrival of TV sets in early 2009, that will have built-in applications which will allow the viewers to connect to the internet via Wifi. Toshiba are also actively talking to application builders to develop widgets for this TV sets.

I wonder what would those applications be… would their environment be “open”- i.e. allowing others to build applications? What luxury! Would I not want to “poke or ping” some of my friends while watching “All about Pamela Anderson” on late night tv? Could social media be truly integrated into the TV technology if that happens? Via a 3-way marriage of your social networking site, a widget that allows you to connect your TV to the internet, and then the sharing (or at least recommendation of) of the conventional “TV listings ” or even the on-demand content with your friends? A bit like what Joost tried to do but failed miserably… but they failed because they had the application, but didnt have the content or the community. What if my status on Facebook, one day, automatically reads “Asad is watching the BBC news at Ten”…

It is all very exciting anyway. I shall wait for such TVs to come out. I want my next HD TV to have a built-in PVR, a Wifi Connection, and an application that will play my DivX files- remotely from my Mac or PC!

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