By | May 28, 2014

Smart TVs came on the scene a few years back and they did make a splash, but they didn’t last that long. Right now, the title of this blog post should be “Chromecast drives Smart TVs to obsolescence” and it would be appropriate. TV manufacturers thought they had to do something to improve sales as more and more features of the TV were being available to the common man through their phones and tablets. The unfortunate part: it’s a losing battle.

Roku and Apple TV started this downfall and Chromecast is just pushing Smart TVs over the edge…and maybe even Roku and Apple TV along with it. This is not likely to happen overnight. It’s similar to what is happening with Android over other mobile OS platforms.

Here are a few things that make Chromecast a device of the future:

Size Matters:  Size does matter, but not in the way you’re thinking about it. In this case, small is beautiful. The entire Chromecast device is a little bit bigger than an USB Flash Drive. So it can be easily portable…just drop it in your pocket and take it wherever you go.

Open vs Closed:  As is with Smartphones, Google is associated with being akin to an “Open” approach to technology and Apple to “Closed” or “Proprietary”. That is another place where Chromecast will distinguish itself…being open will lead to a lot more innovation.

Apps Galore:  Right now, Roku and Apple TV probably have more apps than Google’s Chromecast, but as history has shown us in the past, new apps on Chromecast as being added every week. So in the long run, expect to see a lot more possibilities on Chromecast.

But, the question still remains. Is Chromecast changing the Smart TV landscape? To answer this question, we’ll have to look at a more basic question and that is “What is a Smart TV?”

Michael Grothaus, a senior writer for Fast Company, in his blog says, “But what is a “smart TV” really? Is it a TV with a media streaming box like an Apple TV or a Roku built in? Is it a TV with an app store? Is it the central control room of your house that lets you video conference with people and control the lighting and temperature and oven in your kitchen? Is it all of these things?”

Unfortunately, there is no clear answer on what is a Smart TV and THAT  is the problem with the industry. Without a clear description of what a device is, there can’t be a future for Smart TVs. Unless someone in the Smart TV industry doesn’t figure out the answer, the rest of the world is going to make it obsolete. Devices like Chromecast, Apple TV and Roku are going to take over and leave the TV as a simple (would I dare say “dumb”) “monitor” rather than the grand plans it had with Smart TV.

Where Smartphones are replaced every year or every 2 years, TVs are not replaced for 5-7 years or more. That will mean more innovation in Smartphones than in TVs. So what is the next best thing the industry will see? Curved TVs….yes. Smart-er TVs….no.

So is Chromecast changing the landscape? I’d rather say Chromecast is blazing a trail of its own…making roads where there are none! And, if the TV industry takes too long to realize it…it might indeed change the Smart TV landscape entirely.

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