Marvin R. Velasco's Blog
Marvin R. Velasco male Deputy Editor
A student of the visual arts, Marvin also happens to love writing about the latest tech trends and gadgets. When he's not busy discovering new restaurants, he likes to go on photowalks around Manila and beyond.
Front and Center
An interesting topic was brought up during a recent event I attended, and that was about the allure of Smart TVs. If you haven’t noticed yet, this somewhat new technology is creating waves here in the Philippines. The major players such as LG, Sony, and Samsung are going all out in an attempt to get a Smart TV in every living room. We discussed the functionality and innovation of Smart TVs, which happen to be their main selling points, but there’s one vital aspect someone mentioned that makes Smart TVs extra special, and that’s spatial dominance.
Televisions own an exclusive spot in our homes. They are placed in areas which are accessible to everyone, hence putting them at the heart of all household electronics and appliances. Companies want this spot. To be at the front and center of a home is like branding it. Now this has been going on for decades since the conception of television sets, but Smart TVs have taken this household branding a step further.
Smart TVs act as an all-in-one consumer electronic. It does way more than what a first-time owner would expect, and it’s only getting better. It has practically every entertainment angle offered by other devices. And unlike desktop computers, notebooks, and tablets, televisions are meant to be shared with an audience of more than one. There’s so much at stake for the major brands now that Smart TVs are slowly inching their way into our living rooms. It’s only natural that these companies want to draw first blood at the top of the standings. The question is: Are we Filipinos ready?
We are relatively slow at adapting new technology here in the Philippines, and that’s no surprise. Our economic status is the main culprit, with only the elite being able to easily afford fresh premium gadgets. This is why we don’t see iPad or iPhone users around every corner like in Europe or in the US. Smart TVs are going to go through an even rougher transition on our shores, since even their purpose is still quite iffy.
The Smart TV, as mentioned earlier, is pretty much an all-in-one device. This can mean two things: You could have all the features you need when buying a set, or you could instead buy everything separately—the latter possibly being much cheaper. If you think about it, you could have a regular 50-inch LCD TV and couple this with a tablet or notebook while sitting on your couch. Yes, you won’t have the seamless experience provided by a Smart TV, but you’re still going to have the same functionality. You might also lose out on the 3D experience if you’re LCD TV doesn’t support it, but is that really a con? There are less and less 3D movies coming out as compared to last year. I wouldn’t be surprised if it experienced a second extinction.
There’s still a lot of haze surrounding the possible success of the Smart TV in our country. Factors such as premium pricing and mass appeal will haunt their early transition here. But if done right, key players in the Smart TV game will practically own our homes with televisions that do everything we want. They’re already knocking on our doors. It’s up to us if we’re ready to answer them.