If 2010 and 2011 have been the years of 3D – so far as
the manufacturers have been concerned, at least! – then it seems likely
that the 2012 TV world will be dominated by Smart functionality.
‘Connected’ TV features have been around for just as
long as 3D, of course. But they took a quantum leap forward for many
brands in 2011, and from what we saw at this year’s Consumer Electronics
Show, they’re going to leap even further in the
course of 2012.
It’s also starting to look increasingly apparent that
some brands, at least, see exclusive Smart TV features as a potential
major source of commercial advantage in an increasingly tough market, so
for better or – more likely – worse, we will
probably increasingly see some services only available on a particular
brand’s Smart platforms.
To set the scene for what we expect to be a year of
massive change in the Smart TV world, we thought we’d get a handle on
the state of Smart TV play by looking at all the big brands’ current
Smart platforms in one hit, one after another, to
help you figure out which system seems best suited to your needs and to
try and figure out who’s best poised to take Smart TV to the next level
in the coming months.
Obviously we’re aware that this feature will to some
extent be out of date even by the time we’ve finished writing it, given
that online services are being upgraded on an almost daily basis, Google TVs will be arriving in a few months and there may even be a proper Apple iTV before the year is out. But
well, you’ve got to start somewhere, right?