The Bigger Picture
I was laid up most of this past weekend with allergies and a related head cold, so I didn’t make it out to the golf course or even to the Austin green belt for some mountain biking.
But I did spend a lot of time watching sports on TV, starting with the Cotton Bowl on Friday night, some English Premier League games on Saturday morning, some NFL wild card games on Saturday afternoon, some FA cup games Sunday morning, and then more NFL games yesterday.
It was a footballers weekend, and because of the rains and winds acting up in Hawaii, I missed most of the first PGA event of the year (but I have that one on DVR!)
To top it all off, I watched “Jurassic Park” again for the first time since when it first came out in 1993 (Loved those DOS prompts on the computer screens for the park’s security systems!)
All this TV watching got me to thinking about the coming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Seems like everyone I know is asking me if I’ll be there. For the millionth time, no.
I’ve never been to CES, have no compelling business reason TO go, and nobody’s given me any free tickets, so I shan’t be going anytime soon. But if you are going, have a nice time and enjoy the multitudes. I see all those crowds, it gives me flashbacks to Comdex. If you’ve never heard of Comdex, well, sorry, I can’t help you.
Most of what I want to learn from CES I can get from the blogs and media coverage, in any event.
Starting with this piece from The New York Times, suggesting that TV makers had better kick it into high gear and move on to the new new thing when it comes to TV watching.
The net of it is is that 3D had its day and there wasn’t enough content to keep people paying a premium for 3D sets, and now “Ultra HD” is the big thing (although the premium demanded for Ultra HD sets will likely keep that a marginal segment of the market for some time).
That leaves the Internet-enablement of TV sets as a logical next push, which, while on its face seems logical, has eluded some pretty smart folks for some time (including the folks at Google).
Me, I’m not so sure I want my TV to become anymore Internet-enabled than it already is. I’ve tried Roku, Apple TV (both gens), and now have a Sony BlueRay player that includes some Internet enablement, and I’m about as enabled as I want to be.
For me, TV is still a relaxing, kick-back experience, save for the few times when I pull out the Wii for some quick tours of “Call of Duty.” My active screen experience is reserved mostly for my computer and/or smartphones.
The TV is the “dumb” box. I’m not sure I want it to get much smarter.
But even if it were to get smarter, the first thing I’d want it to do is find more content, AND the kind of content that I like to watch.
Thus far, even with Netflix, that seems too genius for the propeller heads to have properly figured out.
So, before the TV manufacturing whizzes go off and start to build bigger, bolder, wider, and more “interactive,” don’t forget presenting the basics of filmed entertainment.
We’ll see, and soon enough.
As for CES, if you don’t know much about it and want to know more, Gizmodo provides this useful page giving us a little background. I find that they, CNET, and Engadget have pretty good rundowns of the goings on there.
The event starts tomorrow and runs through this Friday.