My thoughts on Smart and 3D TVs

The two hottest things at the moment are ‘Smart TV’ and ‘3D TV’; of course nothing is really compatible and honestly you’d be better buying a tablet like an iPad and hooking it up to your TV than relying on a Smart TV. Updates from what I’ve seen are pretty scarce if you stray away from the major manufacturers (such Samsung, LG, or Sony) and even then the range of applications seems amazingly limited. Everything you can do on a Smart TV I bet you could do with a tablet or even a cheap netbook with a wireless mouse. Probably better too. Smart TVs need to arrive at a common standard, Google TV anyone? I think Lenovo recently released Android based TVs in China. They sound pretty cool.

Smart TVs

As for 3D TV it is pretty awesome, but it isn’t for everybody. Seriously, don’t go around telling everyone how crappy it is if you personally don’t like it. Lots of other people love it. Active 3D gives a much better quality picture in 3D mode but is prone to flickering in some light conditions and the glasses range from £15 a pair (Samsung) to something like like £80 a pair for various other makes. That turns people off them, and this is where Samsung has recently gotten it completely right with their move to make the glasses cheap.

Passive 3D is alright. I can’t get over the lines in the picture (inherent in how the technology works) and the viewing angle limitations annoy me. The glasses are really cheap, and I completely understand why someone with a large family or lots of children would opt for passive. It makes more sense. I personally would buy an active set if I was in the market, however.

It’s probably very true to point out that after a while you won’t even notice the differences as long as you’re watching a film that you get sucked in to. I can still watch films that are crap in quality as long as the film itself is good, and this very much applies to TV technology too.

We need a free to air 3D channel on Freeview or Freesat before I think it’ll really take off, but that isn’t going to happen until more people buy the sets… where did we see this before? Oh that’s right… HD adoption. The problem this time is a lot of people are happy with their current sets and can’t see much of a point upgrading to a TV that gives a pretty similar quality to the one they currently own for the majority of content that they watch, with the questionable additional benefit of 3D that really needs Sky, or a 3D Bluray player to get the most out of it. (Or a PS3, I guess!)

I’m still not sure if 3D is here to stay in the long term, but it is definitely interesting watching the market unfold. More content will be the winner.

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