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First Panasonic smart TVs with Firefox OS debut
By Thom Holwerda, submitted by spudley99 on 2015-05-15 18:09:10

Panasonic Smart TVs powered by Firefox OS are optimized for HTML5 to provide strong performance of Web apps and come with a new intuitive and customizable user interface which allows quick access to favorite channels, apps, websites and content on other devices. Through Mozilla-pioneered WebAPIs, developers can leverage the flexibility of the Web to create customized and innovative apps and experiences across connected devices.

Great news for Mozilla, of course, but I honestly wonder about the longevity of the smart TV. Much like the smartwatch, it feels like whole lot of forced hype with little to show for itself.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-26
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Comment by Drumhellar
By Drumhellar on 2015-05-15 18:56:51
Well, I think smartwatches will eventually be useful - it'll just take time until the tech is good enough, and until the UI conventions are figured out. That will happen eventually, however, these things really only happen through an iterative process that starts with not-so-useful models.

Smart TVs on the other hand, I think will go the way of the dodo. There's no practical reason why it is better to integrate rapidly moving software and hardware tech into a TV, when it is just way more practical to have a powered HDMI port that you plug a tiny computer into.
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RE: Comment by Drumhellar
By teco.sb on 2015-05-15 19:09:34
I agree and disagree with you. The problem I see with the current crop of Smart TVs is that you cannot upgrade the individual applications (at least, my roommate's LG SmartTV wasn't upgradable). Once the manufacturers figure out that all you really need to do is allow for apps to be installed/removed/upgraded they'll be more successful. Something like Android/iOS/Windows(?) for your TV, you install what you want from a market and call it a day. TVs have always been shipped with built-in tuners, and those are very convenient, no reason to think that a built-in "internet tuner" won't be either.

The real problem, in my opinion, is that hardware manufacturers are either clueless or do not care about the software. I see Smart TVs as one of those markets lacking a well funded and marketed OS vendor.
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RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
By Pro-Competition on 2015-05-15 19:20:27
But it's not just the apps that need to be upgradeable. Any OS will need to be patched for security, etc., and should be upgraded as new features become available. If the smartphone market is any indicator, this will not go well.

And that doesn't even address the issues of 1) choice of OS, and 2) hardware upgrades. The display panel should outlast the "smart" parts of the system by a long way. As Drumhellar said above: "There's no practical reason why it is better to integrate rapidly moving software and hardware tech into a TV, when it is just way more practical to have a powered HDMI port that you plug a tiny computer into."
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RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
By darknexus on 2015-05-15 19:46:09
It's simpler than that. Why allow you to upgrade your apps and/or os when they want you to buy a new tv? Same problem we have with a lot of Android OEMs.
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RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
By Undomiel on 2015-05-15 20:01:15
I can't speak to the other smart TVs but Samsung's do allow downloading from their catalog of apps. I currently run Netflix, Viki and Crunchyroll through there. Updates for the apps do get pushed out occasionally as well, though I suspect that they are back burner projects for these companies.
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We won't call them TVs for long
By Kver on 2015-05-15 20:32:28
I do think smart 'displays' in general have a future, but I don't think they'll always be called 'TVs'. Computer-level components are getting dirt-cheap now, and I think we'll just see the TVs morph into massive touch computers bundled with bluetooth remotes. Just like the Xbox One, even though they'll be full computers onto themselves - they'll just handle external inputs, too. Or serve as thin-clients over the network to your more powerful computer - wherever it is.

It'll be just like the crop of all-in-ones only thinner, more easily wall-mounted, VESA compatible, and having HDMI inputs. Heck, even some Chrome all-in-ones have HDMI input. It makes sense that eventually it'll all be in one section at your local electronics store, just like tablets and phones are now. The only question will be 'dumb display' vs 'smart display'.

I doubt we'll even notice the day when you buy what would have been called a 'TV' and put it on your office desk, especially with OSs beginning to converge the way they are.
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RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar
By WorknMan on 2015-05-15 20:36:40
> But it's not just the apps that need to be upgradeable. Any OS will need to be patched for security, etc.

There's just something hilarious to me about somebody's TV being hacked and used to send fake penis enlargement spam emails :)
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LG's TVs and WebOS.
By leech on 2015-05-15 22:50:55
I did see LG has released at least one TV with WebOS on it, didn't get much of a chance to play with it, but it looked sweet. This is where the 'Smart TV' should go.
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RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
By Drumhellar on 2015-05-15 23:24:52
Well, as time passes, hardware requirements of software increase. TVs generally last quite a number of years - far longer than the embedded hardware remains current enough for new apps. Samsung has a SmartTV that is upgradable, but the hardware you get costs quite a premium.

With the HDMI plug-in, you can upgrade any TV - it will become a question of, why buy a non-upgradable SmartTV, or a SmartTV that only allows proprietary upgrades, when the competitor is selling a regular TV, and including a $100-off coupon for an Android-based HDMI stick?
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Missed the point?
By uridium on 2015-05-15 23:46:29
With respect, I think you've missed the point with smart TV's. They for the most part aren't useful to us and certainly aren't going away. SmartTV's are a mechanism to poke more product under our noses by manufacturers who want them to continue to generate revenue.

Take my Samsung Series-6 TV as an example. There's been 4 major O/S upgrades since we bought it. Now.. every time we turn it on, it's at the "buy this movie!" advert. You have to navigate across their advertising when ever I want to browse files on usb key or an app to get to iView or SBS on demand. They're not silly.

It's a revenue generation scheme.

Now I'm looking into solutions to turn it into a dumb display device and ignore the 'smarts'. :(

These things are definitely not going away, they're too useful to companies. We're irrelevant on that topic.
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