Podcast Audio | Posted by Phil Leigh on February 24, 2009
During the past month we repeatedly observed that consumers are connecting laptop computers to flat-panel TVs thereby accessing Internet Video on the TV screen. While the laptop-as-TV-Media-Controller is becoming an important computer application, it is not the “end game”. Ultimately, TVs will connect directly to the Internet. While they may have a new browser that works with a simple remote unit instead of a keyboard, they will provide unrestricted Internet access. The laptop-as-TV-Media-Controller application is merely a “forcing factor” to the final scenario.
One soon-to-be-announced example will come from Gordon Campbell who was Intel’s first Director of Marketing. He now runs Personal Web Systems which is making browser-centric semiconductor chips.
The laptop-as-TV-Media-Controller application cannot be stopped. Flat-panel TVs and laptop computers have common connection sockets for legitimate reasons. One example is for PowerPoint presentations in an office setting. As multimedia content in such presentations grows, HDMI sockets are likely to proliferate on nearly all laptop computers.
Once the laptop and TV are mated, the user perceives the TV as nothing more that a giant monitor for the laptop, which is exactly what it is. The perception leads users to expect unlimited Internet access.
The TV’s remote unit enables users to switch from conventional TV to Internet access with a single button-click. When the screen is set on “TV input” consumers interact with it as a TV. That means they expect to use a hand-held remote. When the screen video source is set to the laptop socket, consumers interact with it as a computer monitor. That means they expect to see a browser and use a mouse and keyboard. It’s an intuitive, almost subconscious, switch in expectation much like depressing either the accelerator or brake pedals in your car.
Thus, in time, consumers will habitually perceive the TV as a dual-purpose screen. In one instance it will be a conventional television. In the other, it will be a giant monitor for the Internet. Much like the iPhone is both a phone and an Internet browser, the flat-panel TV will be both a television and Internet screen. It’s as certain as tomorrow’s sunrise.
This is Third Generation Television.