Evolving With Smart Screens and the Digital Ecosystem
Smart TVs are emerging as the ideal amalgamation of the virtual and the material, playing on top of our reality rather than replacing it.
With the fast penetration of smartphones coupled with rising digital infrastructure, second-screens have become the staple sources of consuming content. While pundits were busy writing the epitaph of the TV, the biggest platform of entertainment for decades globally, some manufacturers were slowly equipping it with better arsenal, empowering it to make a grand comeback. Now, by combining the strengths of the TV with internet, the time to reclaim its dominance over global entertainment has arrived-this time through its latest avatar, the Smart TV.
Smart TVs:-The beginning
Smart TVs, i.e. TVs connected with the internet, are slowly penetrating across the country, already achieving a significant presence in the urban markets. TVs have always been a popular medium of entertainment, offering a variety of shows and diverse content while providing the positive experience of collective viewing. In India specifically, an average household’s entire day’s itinerary is scheduled around TV shows. This phenomenon can be noticed more in the evenings, when each member of the household is present and watching shows on the TV together becomes a moment of building familial bonds. And now, with the device being equipped with the limitless power of the internet, we are possibly looking at a device that significantly shapes our future lifestyle.
The curious case of the change in TVs
The slow demise of broadcast linear technology-i.e. pre-programmed TV schedules, can be singularly attributed to its restrictive schedule which could not survive in the world of on-demand content. Unlimited number of movies, TV shows, documentaries, music and games later-the Smart TV has captured the imagination of the viewers. Users have total creative control now, and some manufacturers have gone ahead and equipped their TVs. [SV1] So, next time when you grow tired of watching re-runs of Friends or Law and Order, trust your TV to fish out what’s good for you from the vast world of internet entertainment.
Smart TVs and their role in developing a digital ecosystem
With the advent of the Smart TVs, the devices are becoming much more intuitive to use, sometimes having the ability to control various devices with just one controller and easily switching between the personal experiences of content viewing on smartphones to the shared experience of watching on TV. From voice based recognition to automatically generating recommendations based on the time of the day-for instance motivational videos or exercise videos early in the morning-some visionary manufacturers have equipped their devices with extremely efficient digital content discovery and curation software that sifts the vast world of the internet to bring entertainment directly on the home screen of the TV, focusing on the kinds of shows that match with the user’s tastes and preferences. Smart TVs today offer the possibility of creating a grid that goes hand-in-hand with the concept of developing smart, digitally interconnected cities.
What is also interesting is to note that while conventional broadcast linear technology requires infrastructural investments of its own, such as Satellites and set-top boxes, internet based TVs can work under the infrastructural efforts undertaken by the ‘Digital India’ initiative. Thus, for countries such as India, Smart TV also offers a chance to connect the entire country through a common digital device pathway.
Furthermore, with the complete integration of digital ecosystem throughout the length and breadth of the country, by combining the flexibility of the phone with the massive visibility of the TV, we have arrived at a juncture where the device acts as a virtual assistant ensuring things are done as and when required.
The TV of the future
Virtual Reality devices such as Oculus are emerging as the next big things in offering the most realistic and immersive virtual viewing experience. While it will be hard for VR to replace the social aspect to watching TV, the rising proliferation of smartphone and other devices may prompt individuals to consume content completely on an individual level. The rate at which TVs have been developing exponentially, the day is not far when these devices are made compatible with technology such as VR and Augmented Reality (AR), enhancing viewer experiences not just through quality of image or range of content, but by allowing viewers to even interact on live social media conversations even as they are consuming the content, thus breaking the fourth wall. Essentially, Smart TVs are emerging as the ideal amalgamation of the virtual and the material, playing on top of our reality rather than replacing it.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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