This year’s CES should bring out the latest HDTV sets from all the big names including Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba and more. We expect to see more connected TVs with more iPads and other tablets controlling them. We may see is added TV “smarts” either built into the TV itself or provided in a companion device like a tablet. TVs with more smarts will help but with rumors of an Apple TV coming in 2012, we wonder if any of the major TV brands will be able to compete with Apple in the battle for the living room.
Apple, Microsoft and Google Could be Next Big Brands in HDTV
We’ve already heard rumors of a Microsoft TV that incorporates Xbox features and Kinect gesture UI. Similar rumors are circulating about an Apple iTV coming in 2012. Google had a rough start with Google TV but we don’t think they will give up control of the living room that readily.
There’s an Apple iTV Waiting in the Wings
In preparation for a rumored “iTV,” Apple would most likely put together a lot of content deals so they can offer a rich selection of programming through an Apple iTV store similar to the launch of the iPod and iTunes music store. They already sell programming to run on the Apple TV set-top box but a branded TV will require bumping that up a notch.
Apple will also show the industry how to make a TV friendlier with new UI features for the 10-foot interface or they might use the iPad as a controller or to add “smarts.” As we move into the year of the tech ecosystem, Apple is in a perfect position to integrate a TV into its own tech ecosystem where data can move between devices using Airplay.
An Apple TV would be one of many Apple devices that can take advantage of smart agents like ‘Siri’, ready and able to help you with all your media and entertainment needs.
Sony Has the Right Components to Compete With An Apple TV?
Will we see Apple swoop in and take over the TV market like they have with smartphones and tablets? If Samsung (and others’) “smart” TV patents don’t get in Apple’s way and Apple does, in fact, jump into the TV business will Samsung, LG, Sony and the rest be able to follow Apple’s lead?
Believe it or not Microsoft might have a chance with Xbox and a Kinect-based gesture 10-foot user interface. Samsung is trying the hardest with new devices and features and may be having the most success but Sony is probably in the best position. They could leverage Sony Pictures for content, Sony PlayStation for gaming, Blu-ray, and entertainment, Sony cameras for image sharing, not to mention their TVs and audio gear.
Having struggled in the past year to recapture the strength of the Sony brand, it remains to be seen whether or not they can muster the force to take on Apple.
Guest Author : Andrew Eisner, Director of Community and Content at Retrevo.com, the second largest consumer electronics review site in the world.