Disclosure: I work on YouView and this post is talking about personal experiences of connected TV devices (including competitors to my employer). Views are mine and not those of my employer.
I’ve recently moved house, and it’s only taken 1 month to get provisioned with wired internet. What did we ever do before we had 3G dongles to tied us over, and smartphones to lessen the connectivity gap? Anyway, I’ve got my internet, I’ve got a Samsung TV that runs apps, and an Apple TV.
The result? My lounge is confusing. I can watch YouTube on my Laptop, my TV, my iPhone or the AppleTV. I have to decide the “how” before the what. The TV does Lovefilm, the Apple TV does iTunes (which has taken more movie rental money than I’ve paid in years on the device that “doesn’t have much content”)
I can control my Apple TV from my iPhone, play iTunes content from my laptop on Apple TV, or pull content on the TV itself via DNLA from my laptop. I can twitter from my TV. Not with anything useful like what I’m watching, but I can multi-tap or t9 my thoughts onto the big screen.
Most of my interactions leave me thinking that second-screen is where it’s at. Tapping away into my iPhone doesn’t distract from the screen, and that’s vital in a shared environment like a lounge.
Finally, as a result of changing routers and network changes I actually said “Yeah, my TV doesn’t cope very well with renewing DHCP”. I almost choked having said that, because it’s not the kind of thing that you should ever say about a TV. TV should be reliable, simple. It’s the device to turn your brain off of an evening, not to engage in hand-to-hand network debug just to get things to work.
Connected TV is where things get interesting: we’ve just got to make them genuinely interesting, and not like ‘interesting’ problems your maths teacher gave you.