While a recent study out of Stanford University has suggested that human beings are losing their intellectual edge, televisions only continue to get smarter – offering more features and improving content delivery for consumers. Today’s advances run the gamut of a media experience with everything from voice control to no-limit recording. Needless to say, competition is stiff.
So, to cut through the chatter, here is a simple user’s guide for navigating the increasingly complex TV landscape in 2013.
Hands down, this box has the widest range of access to media. With over 600 channels, music options, motion-controlled games, and access to a long list of services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO, and NBA…to name a few), it is easily one of the leaders.
Boxee includes all the major TV channels and services like Netflix, Pandora and Spotify. Its most unique feature is the “no-limit” ability to record any program and watch on any screen (computer, iPad, etc.).
Google TV was co-developed by Intel, Sony and Logitech. Launched in 2010, it has grown to be the TV software used by Sony, DISH Network and several others. With voice control, the ability to surf the web, and Google Play, Google TV offers the greatest number of options for consumers.
Rumors. Rumors. Rumors. From a “hobby” to a full-blown TV, Apple is predicted to release a TV in 2013. Known for its loyal following, strict quality control, and unmatched ecosystem, Apple could make a serious dent in the TV market. Only time will tell.
Another projected player in the TV market. Microsoft is developing the Xbox into the Xbox TV to be released in the last quarter of 2013. With over 70 million Xbox’s sold since 2005 and the recent introduction of Windows 8, Microsoft will be a competitor.
MY HUMBLE OPINION.
The key is giving the consumer a great product that is simple and intuitive, while taking the TV experience to another level. The ideal product should bring together the power of the computer, the ease of a tablet, and an abundance of viewing options.
Contracts will be key, as a TV is useless when you can’t watch your favorite shows. It’s obvious that consumers should have the option to purchase individual shows and/or channels instead of forced packages. Of course, this would require some bending of longtime business strategies, but the result would be an enthusiastic customer base.
Personally, I am an Apple freak. With Apple’s quality-driven philosophy, unmatched ecosystem, and understanding of ease-of-use, an actual stand-alone Apple TV would be a major force in changing the perception of what a TV can become. If Apple can convince music labels to change their business model, who is to say they can’t do the same with TV?
Just imagine purchasing a channel for one month or a season of Duck Dynasty with one click. Maybe that’s a little further out, but, either way, expect the TV market to heat up in 2013.
Chad Tyler, Digital Services at The Ramey Agency.