LarryM99: the reason texting has exploded (started with Asian markets, has caught on in the west as well) is the cost to the consumer. Texting used to free in some countries and even now costs next to nothing in several Asian countries.
Regarding TV interfaces: many of us have been using (as much as I hate the Windows MediaCenter) PC's to watch TV without any of the add ons that are being peddled. My Sony desktop even had Co-Ax input and S-Video out that connected to the TV. Now a days, you can do that pretty much without a 'PC' using gadgets like XBox 360 and networked attached storage in HAN.
The bottom line is what these claimed TV viewing enhancements appeal to the consumer and at what cost. It will be decided by the marketplace.
This is a really good point Larry. I watching my kids, I'm always amazed in how they use phones, computers and TVs in ways that I never thought people would.
We shouldn't be saying that people won't do this because we don't, unless of course we're just making products for ourselves. :)
TV used for web browsing wouldn't be all that bad because we can have web and tv playing side by side in separate frames like PIP and you could check your bank balance while watching a soap!
Agreed we don't need a TV to browse but it will have uses late particularly when webTV content providers start operating.
We also have to think about who they are really targeting. Based on the pictures I would guess that we are all roughly the same demographic (i.e. old farts). I have had discussions with similar groups in the past who were convinced that nobody would rather text on a cell phone than talk face-to-face. We all tend to think that everybody thinks like us, but younger kids have completely different experience sets than we do. It's very possible that they would really enjoy checking Facebook in the living room with a group of their friends.
I have to agree with the comments against the walled gardens. I've been playing with the GoogleTV blu-ray player from Sony and the ability to go anyway is great and is alot more useful than Yahoo that only lets you go where they let you. Once websites start optimizing for GoogleTV, it will get only better.
I don't think Google is trying to replace TV, the integration with my Dish DVR makes my Dish DVR much better than it was. I love using my Dish box from GoogleTV, and it cleanly integrates with Internet Video sources.
Once GoogleTV enables the marketplace and an open developer community it will blow Yahoo TV away.
Good point Larry. But despite my HDTV having enough resolution to serve as a computer monitor, I have never wanted to use that computer-to-HDTV connection for anything more than watching video. Sometimes that video is streamed from the internet and sometimes it's just recorded shows that I have DVR'd on the PC instead of on the DVR cable box (two tuners isn't always enough!).
I've never had a desire to use my HDTV as a display for showing me my email or my Facebook page or online shopping or banking or any of that private type of activity. That's what makes the personal computer a "personal" computer -- it's a one-user-at-a-time device, quite well adapted to private communications and things like private financial transactions.
The big screen HDTV in the main room will never be that "personal" for most people. It seeems obvious, since it sits in a common room where it can entertain multiple users simultaneously. I suspect the 'convergence' people figured that out the last time webTV flopped, which is why today's approach is more about TV-from-the-web rather than putting the web on your TV.
I also think that with the widespread adoption of DVRs, people are already halfway weaned away from the traditional concept of a TV channel. They use the TV programmer's channel mostly as a delivery pipe, a means of storing content on the box for later viewing. The 'TV channel' today is really just a menu of instantly available program choices, whether stored on the DVR box or stored in the cloud.
From a technical point of view the biggest difference between this generation of WebTV and previous ones (including that particular trademark) is that now the resolution of HDTVs is up to the task. Given that, you can either drive the display from an external computer box or integrate it into the TV. The next hurdle is to wean users away from the concept of a channel. The good news is that DVRs have already started doing that. That makes the leap to Google TV or the other current options for users much smaller.