A funny thing is happening to TVs; they’re getting interesting again. Prices of computers smart enough to do all the basics of what you get on a MacBook or Dell are making their way into the guts of TVs. Other than 3D, the interesting topics this year were the Boxee Box and the various apps available for TVs.
We have all sorts of technology on smart phones and desktop apps but the vast majority of citizens will not use tech until it’s so easy to use that it doesn’t risk offending one’s sense of control of their environment. These new TVs are interesting because the apps aren’t revolutionary, their accessibility is.
Once the technology is transparent the really interesting phase of this shift begins. I think Boxee is the first real vision of “TV” post cable box. You can’t buy it yet so I installed in on the PC plugged into my TV to get a feel for it. You have your standard media center options (movie, music libraries, tv shows) but you also get apps. This is a huge leap.
Right now I’m sitting on my couch writing this on my TV with a wireless keyboard running Boxee. I’m running the Boxee LastFM music app and it just occurred to me that I haven’t sat down at my laptop in a couple of days now. Maybe my couch is just too damn comfortable but I suspect it’s my new found freedom to get stuff done without feeling like I’m at the office.
Shows are the new channels if this new TV series interface sticks:
The only reason I pay for cable at this point is because I occasionally watch live sports. I’m seriously starting to wonder if it’s worth the $600 a year. If these TVs take off I fully expect Apple to create their own big screen TV with proprietary apps tied to the ITunes store for rentals, etc. Time will tell.