Smart TV is set to couple the Internet and Television entertainment into a seamless package. It is quite unlike WebTV, which turns your television into something of a underpowered personal computer.
To be sure, Smart TV interfaces will be focused on pure entertainment – making available all the content of the Internet in your living room. You will be able take any search parameter, type it in and content from your cable provider, recorded content from the DVR, video on your local storage devices and the Internet will appear – one just scrolls and plays.
You will be able to surf between channels and websites, watch football games in PIP while looking up player statistics on the Internet, carry on conversation on social networks while recording your favorite shows.
You can play casual Flash-based games as well. Clearly, the consumer will be able to choose how to interact with Smart TV.
One can use the provided remote controls, plug in USB keyboards or load Apps on your Mobile device and use vocal control. The Application for vocal control on Android based phones will be available at time of launch.
Intel’s CE4100 Atom processor provides the buffer compatibility, web compatibility, software compatibility but also specialized circuitry for HD Video encoding and decoding.
This Intel “system-on-a-chip” (SoC) will be available built into TV’s such as the next generation Sony Bravias but also, in Set-Top Boxes such as Dish’s satellite receiver, and Logitech’s Revue or D-Links’ Boxee. These Set-top boxes can turn any HDTV into a SmartTV by connecting through a HDMI port.
The stand alone STBs such as the Revue by Logitech and the Boxee Box have USB ports for storage devices and keyboard attachment optical audio ports, composite connections and well as SD Card readers. They can be connected to the internet through your personal wireless network or via an Ethernet port.
Many people really liked the innovative Boxee remote control. It is a sleek, easy to use design with a fully functioning mini-keyboard on the back but we’re thinking there might be a little more learning overhead compared to the Google TV products.The Logitech Revue will function with their Harmony line of remote controls and well as vocally with Android phones. There is also an iPhone app coming for Google TV.
It will be interesting to see if little Boxee Box will be able to stand up to the Google machine, not only will Google TV have the advantage of mind share but it will be first to launch. Products have been announced and are expected at the end of October. The Boxee Box will be available for $199 when it is rolled out.