They don't make them like they used to. It wasn't too long ago when having a home theater PC was an enthusiast's sport in realm of domestic tech, but things are changin'. We've got an army of set top boxes ready to duke it out while other manufacturers are looking to integrate Internet into the TVs altogether. The question is... what will you choose?
One of our biggest gripes so far with Internet connected TVs is the lack of a decent UI, not to mention to cheap and poorly designed remotes (we love our universal controllers). If menus feel sluggish, Hulu and Netflix support are missing, and/or everything feels thrown together, the experience is cheapened and people won't be jumping on board as fast as manufacturers hope.
The need for a pleasant user experience is essential. Currently, we hear - despite the ability to connect directly to the Internet - most TVs stil require software be updated manually via a USB stick after being downloaded off the manufacturer's website. These types of ridiculous workarounds are superfluously dated. Manufacturers need to catch up.
- 1) Waiting it out (no one wants to be stuck with the next Betamax)
- 2) Going with your gut instinct.
Personally, we're thinking about throwing down for a Boxee Box. The fact that we can have a dedicated computer in a nearby room to hold all our digital collections and have it stream effortlessly onto our box is something we've always dreamed of having. The iPhone/Android app remote doesn't hurt either.
It's about to be a messy game of Internet TV in the next few months. We're excited to see who comes up on top. Which will you choose?