Yesterday I posted on some Google moves that might impact TV and Web convergence. Here is another view Matt Richtel tries to put a damper on the topic with his New york Times article, What Convergence? TV’s Hesitant March to the Net. Matt pointsout that you find the Web on almost all the screens we use today except perhaps the biggest one in our lives, the television. He writes that there is movement by chip makers to spur a new generation of TVs with full browser capability, like a personal computer. Intel released its own TV-centric chip in October 2008 and many other semiconductor designers and manufacturers are following them. However, Matt adds that television manufacturers such as Sony and Sharp do not seem to want this TV and Web convergence to occur. They claim that people are not ready for this. I find that hard to believe.
Matt speculates that television viewers do not want Web viruses to infect their TV during the Super Bowl, a valid point. He adds that TV viewers are used to a passive relationship with their TV and would not want to have the active involvement the Web brings. I think most people would welcome it. He also writes that TV manufacturers do not want to added cot of adding TV functionality to an already thin margin activity. Perhaps so but that is punishing the consumer. Let them decide.
For these reasons few TV manufacturers are using the new Intel chip. I think the winners will be the ones who do. TV makers risk losing control of the process if they do not figure out a solution soon enough. Perhaps cable boxes will allow for a work around. There is hope as Gordon Campbell’s new company, Personal Web Systems, is now shipping its first product, a $150 adapter that will attach to televisions to make them fully Internet-enabled. They are reducing the technology included in the TV adapter device into a single stamp-size semiconductor that would enable full Internet access in TVs in more developed markets. I see promise here.