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The Good old Idiot Box turning geeky smart!
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The Good old Idiot Box turning geeky smart!

Talk about evolution, the good old Idiot box is getting smarter and the way the technology converges; be prepared for some stunning sci-fi fantasy to become  reality shortly. Good bye Idiot box, welcome Smart box aka connected TV.

If you thought the bouquet of interactive features currently offered by set-top boxes is awesome, hold on!

Or if you are awed by the social apps on some of the current crop of smart TVs’ that allows you to connect to facebook, twitter etc  wait the picture is going to get bigger, better and overwhelming.  If we take the analogy of Darwin theory, the original idiot box can be compared to our original ancestors the chimps and the current crop of Smart TV’s the Stone Age human, if not the Neanderthals.  Then you guess the possibilities of revolutionary evolution the TV technology promises of.

No wonder Apple is rumored to be secretly working on an iTV to awe and shock the competitors, the way iPhone and iPad proved to be game changers in their respective categories.  Jumping into the ring is Google who would like to monopolize the future TV experience the way it did with its search engine.  But then for all the aspirations of Apple and Google, we have the hardware giants Sony, LG, Panasonic and the king of the TV, Samsung with their own game plans to create fantasies in your living rooms.

Ok, so what is in store for the future or let’s say immediate future? In the recently concluded CES, world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow we saw some tall claims, prototypes and hints at the evolving future.

Samsung knows it has to innovate to hold the title of being the world’s largest TV manufacturer and like it did with Smartphones, it is betting high on the Smart TV.  The South Korean giant says its next generation Smart TV 2.0 can Listen, See and Do. Yes, you read it right.  And their key areas of focus are going to be: smart interaction, smart content and smart evolution. 


Boo-Keun Yoon, president of Samsung’s consumer electronics division says that their 2012 Smart TV models will be armed with an integrated camera and microphone so your TV can “listen, see and do”

So what the implications could be for couch potatoes? Though Samsung has not let out much information about it, you can safely run your imagination wild.

Ditch the remote.  You might be able to control your TV by voice or hand gestures.

How about video conferencing on a giant screen?

Let’s stretch the imagination further. Facial recognition and listing out our favourite channels /apps based on our history and preference? Whoa!

And then Samsung is also pushing hard to develop its Apps market for Smart TV.  Already, its smart TV app store offers an enviable 1400 apps and is on pace to hit 20 million downloads this month. , a commendable number considering how nascent the market is.  Unlike mobiles, TV is not something a customer would exchange the product every now and then, so to future proof the model, Samsung plans to have the hardware upgradable.

And if Samsung has its own ambitious futuristic plans, others are not behind.

LG-CES-Smart-TVAt CES, LG flaunted its “magic remote”, with just 5 buttons, the Magic Motion remote is easy to use, with intuitive point-and-click control.  Sounds fun?  So to choose a particular app or click on a button, you just got to point at it and select.  Remember the laser gun toy, you played with?

Sharp-Smart-TVGood bye messy cables. With Sharp’s Aquos Freestyle flat-screen TV allows you to run around home  without worrying about messy cables, since they work on mainly on Wi-Fi and can receive wireless HD signals from up to 98 feet away and comes with a built-in battery pack.  And yes, they are extremely lighter too for you to hop around.

And then you have media giants like Sony who boasts a vast library of music, movies and games to die for. So you can expect Sony contemplating in a Zen mode how to awe you by streaming its media awesomeness right into your couch on demand.

So now you might agree that the idiot box is finally coming of age and smarting up. These are just teaser picture baki hai mere dost

Be ready to get  spoiled by smartness and of course keep an eye on your savings.

0 17 January, 2012 News January 17, 2012

About the author

The man behind GingerChai Networks from Bangalore, India. His unconventional, non-geeky approach to gadgets and technology lead him to start TechRaman. When not dabbling with gadgets, he also reviews books and movies and drowns himself in cups of tea.

View all articles by Lakshmi Rajan


  1. Yash Bhatia

    Great article! Can’t wait for these TVs to become mainstream technology in a few years! 😀

    Also, it’ll be really interesting to note what Apple will do to stop the advent of other companies into this sector (apart from lawsuits!)!

    Btw, shouldn’t it be “couch potato” instead of “potato couch”?

  2. Pramathesh, KraftInn

    I was wondering about how TV would turn out in 2012 in the past couple of days. I see more interactivity in TVs with no tension of missing your favorite show.

    Also, with Samsung having most information about it’s competitors being a provider of hardware to them, it would be interesting to see what they provide.


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