Manufacturers Turn to Smart TV After 3-D Disappoints
After 3-D TV failed to excite consumers last year, manufacturers are betting that following the app-laden path of smartphones and tablet computers will fatten up what have been ultraslim profit margins.
For more than a decade, consumer-electronics manufacturers have been trying to marry the Internet and TV. In recent years, they’ve added connectors that let TV sets hook up to the Internet and, in some cases, added software that provides shortcuts to Web-based services from companies like movie-rental service Netflix Inc.
But this year, starting with product announcements at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, manufacturers are making a full-on push with “smart TVs”— models that have built-in computer-style processors and operating software so the sets can be modified with applications just as computers and smartphones are.
The idea is to make it easy to shop, surf the Web, check the weather and traffic and set up customized news pages. Consumers also would have available a variety of other apps for, say, social networking or sharing photos and videos.