Thursday, January 6, 2011

CES Pushing 3D and Internet TVs

We all rushed out to upgrade our TVs. We threw away our big tube sets for sleeker, thinner, and bigger, not to mention better picture from HDTV. "But now, most people who want a flat-screen TV already own one. Industry watchers and manufacturers estimate that nearly two-thirds of households in the United States have a flat-screen set." But last year, and again this year, TV manufacturers want us to upgrade again to 3D and internet-TV. EXCEPT, 3D has not proved that appealing and we already can connect to the internet through blu ray, XBox, Apple TV, and other devices connected to those HDTVs.

My big tube TV lasted over 15 years. I am reluctant to replace my HDTVs for 3D TVs. I only hope I can get 10 years out of the current crop of TVs. And when other TVs fail and need upgrading, the 3D feature is not compelling for me.

It seems in fact, that once again, attention at this year's CES is focused on smaller products. Smaller tablets, thinner iPads and iPhones. Mobility remains an important benefit for the consumer as does the ability to access more information. Comcast just announced that their new app will shortly allow remote slingbox type streaming of live TV as well as mobile on demand access. More buzz should emerge on this and other new mobile tools this week. For me, I want an announcement that includes a revolutionary improvement of the battery. Charging every night is tiring. Miss one night and you are left with a brick. The need for second batteries and emergency power packs may help but ultimately these mobile devices need to work harder and retain more juice to last longer. I'm still waiting for that announcement to come.