The consumer electronics industry, over the past couple of years, has slowly come to terms with the reality that not many consumers are all that interested in 3D TVs in their homes. Now, they’re reaching a similar conclusion about Internet-connected smart TVs.
The research firm the NPD Group released a study last week showing that “the Internet connected HDTV screen has so far failed to break beyond the bounds of its TV-centric heritage.” Most smart TVs come with a great deal of available apps, but the majority of consumers aren’t using them at all, and those who are who ignoring just about everything except for watching video.
According to NPD’s study, just under 60 percent of smart TV owners use their smart TVs for online video- meaning, watching video through Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go and other applications. But that number drops significantly for just about every other use of smart TV- only about 15 percent use the functionality for music (through Pandora and services like it), while every other function- gaming, social media, web browsing, video calling- comes in at less than 10 percent.
The reasoning is simple: Nobody wants to browse the web on a TV. Nobody ever has, any time such a thing has been attempted, and I don’t think anyone ever will. Nobody wants to update their Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn on their TV. I’ve used Facebook functionality on TV to scroll through pictures, but that’s about it.
And sure, it’s convenient to be able to watch Netflix or Hulu content right on TV- I do it myself. But nearly half of smart TV owners disagree. And even if you want to do that, there are other options- Roku, Apple TV, Xbox, PS3, Internet-connected Blu-ray players- which provide a better interface than the TVs themselves.
So 3D didn’t work, and neither did smart apps. 4K it is, I suppose, once the price gets out of the five-figure range. Your move, Apple…