Buying a new TV: I came to the realization that my manroom, while great, was inadequately equipped with a mere 50″ screen. So I decided to go big (then go home). Spent a long while researching options, ended up with the Samsung PN63C590, Samsung PN63C8000, and the LG 60PK950 as my top three choices. Two of these three had 3D and Internet connectivity, the other was just a big honking 63″ screen. I went with the big honking screen and skipped on the frills. I realized I don’t much like the current 3D experience in theaters or homes (makes me a little nauseous), and the likelihood that I’d want to frequently watch 3D at home was pretty low. Regarding Internet apps, I’m not really impressed with most of the available apps, and I’m not very convinced that the current platforms won’t be obsolete within 12-18 months (looks like I’m not the only one who feels that way on both topics).
In a nutshell – the TV is awesome, manroom now operating at near-100% efficiency.
Cord-Cutting: So my new TV is great, and also huge. And there’s an interesting downside to it being huge – the gaffes of lower quality video are worse than ever. As soon as everything was hooked up, I turned on the NHL HD channel (sports channels seem to be at the top of the quality spectrum in the HD channel lineup). All I could see were the jaggies and other terrible aftereffects of the highly compressed video Comcast delivers to my house. So how did I make my TV look good? I turned on my Xbox! I think this “faux” HD experience is something that actually could cause cord-cutting in 2011 – far more than Smart TVs will. More on this over on the Stage Two blog.
Smart TVs: Speaking about Smart TVs (the continuity in this post would astound my high school English teacher), I read an article on “What Smart TVs need to Succeed” with the highlights being: Unlimited Content Access, Extensive Use of Apps, and Immersive Experience. I think I understand that perspective, but I also think it is missing the boat. People tend to compare Smart TVs to Smart Phones. If you recall, the first several *years* of smart phones were some truly terrible products. But when it comes to phones, that’s “ok” because they are low cost (relative to TVs) and owners expected to replace them in fairly short cycles. TVs, on the other hand, are expensive and consumers tend to replace infrequently (unless of course they have awesome manrooms that warrant the upgrade). A generation of underwhelming Smart TVs will likely put a damper on the entire industry. What Smart TVs really need to succeed is great, intuitive, television-like user experiences. And I will be blunt by saying none of them do it right now. And I don’t see this changing for at least the first half of 2011. Which is why we’ve got a new thing cooking in Stage Two’s labs, all about making a really good TV user experience. Will show ya next year.
Del.icio.us shutdown: Just like everyone else in the Web 2.0 era, I used Delicious for about 45 minutes back in the mid 2000’s, then stopped. I know there’s still a solid fan base, and a lot more people found it a lot more useful than I did, but Yahoo’s let it languish since about 6 months after purchase. Other than buying a better domain for it, it doesn’t seem like the company cared about it one bit. And now they are shutting it down. I think this is pretty terrible, and as I tweeted… “irony of delicious shut-down? bartz could’ve made only $46.2M last year and still had a full-time TEAM on *improving* the product…” Shame on them. I’m sure there’s some great spreadsheet somewhere that shows why its the smart business decision, but the audacity of the entire Yahoo situation is just plain infuriating. Highly recommended reading: Thomas Hawk’s letter to Carol Bartz.
Online privacy: The entire concept of privacy is up for grabs these days. Some feel it’s dead, some feel it must be protected at all costs. I sit closer to the “protect my privacy” camp, and as a result am encouraged to see the government taking some form of action. Unfortunately, I don’t know how much actual good it will do, but since the industry isn’t self-regulating, I have to assume it can’t make things too much worse. I remain convinced that the mega-millionaires who run the companies who effectively control our online privacy have the incorrect moral incentives in place, especially considering they can pay their way out of the issues the rest of us face.