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As the owner of a Panasonic TV I have to look with envy at practically every other manufactures online content offering. Panasonic seem to be really weak in this area.
Where this will fail is that these companies are still thinking of their devices as TVs with some extra functionality grafted on. And it shows - slow, clunky UIs, terrible ergonomics (try doing anything quickly with the supplied remotes), poor software and next to no software updates and improvements people now expect. They should really be providing just the panel and image processing technology and let others step in for the media provisioning and management.
Good article. I have been telling colleages at work, smart TVs are going to be the next big thing, just like smartphone. It will get more exciting when you start seeing Android, Meego and Apple iOS based products, with the same possiblities as on smartphones and an explosion of apps. The current range of 'connected TV' aren't smart enought IMO, I would compare them to feature phones...
Interesting but i think you've been a bit unfair leaving Samsung out of the list. We bought a Samsung UE32C6530 a couple of months ago and the internet@TV stuff is absolutely brilliant. The iplayer is a joy to use and supports HD streaming. And youtube, lovefilm, acetrax and Muzu.tv are all genuinely useful and worth having.
Thanks for this. It would be good to have a regular update of online content - say monthly or so. On Sony content: The new BBC iPlayer is still only Beta and doesn't show HD content. This is odd since the iPlayer that comes with the Sony BDV players is not Beta, operates faster than the Bravia and does contain HD. You don't mention Picasa which is new and works well. On the first visit you login to your Picasa web albums and it shows the first 36 albums as tiles - which meant a little Picasa maintenance for me since I had many more than 36 albums on the web. The quality is really excellent. It is the first photo app, including connecting a PC direct to the TV, (that I've seen) that makes my pics watchable on a big (46") screen. To maintain quality the app does not expand the photo to fill the screen which means you need to store your web albums at the higher resolution to fill the screen. Nice one Sony.
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