Skip to content
Swizec Teller - a geek with a hatswizec.com

TV's are now computers O.o

The television set I grew up with left our place yesterday. It's actually kind of odd, as my hometown has changed year to year, as I went to different schools, changed my computers, my tastes in culture, even most of the furniture I'm using ... the one thing that has always stayed the same was the family television set.

The old telly

I still sort of remember the shopping trip when we brought it home with my dad. I must have been around four years old, which would make that TV around twenty years old now.

Twenty long years.

And now it's gone. It went quietly, without fanfare, nobody gave it two thoughts. As simple as moving a big lump of glass and electronics and plastic down four flights of stairs without a lift. For the last year you even had to use a toothpick to turn on our dear telly, and lately the image was all flickery and without colour.

And then we plugged in the new one.

Holy mother of god, what televisions have done in the past 20 years! That thing is a freaking computer!

Hell, you have to politely ask it to recognise all manners of external devices, even the set-top-box needs to politely introduce itself! The menus and dials indicate that something as simple as a sound system needs a warm introduction as well.

Sexy new telly

Yep, that telly rules the living room and it knows it. I'm sure whenever the television is off it sings sexy and I know it quietly in its own ear.

The most technologically interesting bit I've found so far is the ethernet port on the back.

Apparently you can connect the television (should I be calling this thing a stripped down computer?) to your home network and stream movies right from a computer - obvious choice here would be my linux box holding the collection of roughly 960GB of video ... why do I have that much again? Guess that happens when you have FTTH.

There's problem with this epic feature though. The telly is still not a computer and can't just browse stuff on the network. Nope, needs something called a UPnP Media Server to stream the files. Unfortunately, the internet is very scarce with information about this (or I suck at looking for it), but the best I've found so far is MediaTomb.

No luck so far getting the TV to recognise this server exists on the network and playing the files. Brilliant success playing HD movies from a portable disk though ...

Another useful feature on these modern television set things is the internet. Sure, it's a stripped down internet reduced to a bunch of icons, sometimes called apps, that you can use discretly rather as a proper browser, but hey, when was the last time you watched youtube and vimeo videos on a telly?

Or used facebook and twitter for that matter?

There's probably some way to hack this, there's bound to be support for a real browser deep down in the bowels of this OS ... but I will restrain myself from looking for it. This is the family telly, not one of my computers and is not a playground.

Oh and perhaps most surprising of all, the UX is good.Up to par with, if not better than, with iOS. No joke. Philips knows what they're doing. I was highly surprised!

Now if only Siol put a UX even remotely as good on their set-top-box I'm sure everyone would be a happy camper.

edit: I just discovered that the telly does in fact have a full blown browser

Enhanced by Zemanta

Did you enjoy this article?

Published on November 14th, 2011 in Broadcasting, Television, Uncategorized

Learned something new?
Want to become a high value JavaScript expert?

Here's how it works 👇

Leave your email and I'll send you an Interactive Modern JavaScript Cheatsheet 📖right away. After that you'll get thoughtfully written emails every week about React, JavaScript, and your career. Lessons learned over my 20 years in the industry working with companies ranging from tiny startups to Fortune5 behemoths.

Start with an interactive cheatsheet 📖

Then get thoughtful letters 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career.

"Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only email I open from marketers and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"

~ Ashish Kumar

Join over 10,000 engineers just like you already improving their careers with my letters, workshops, courses, and talks. ✌️

Have a burning question that you think I can answer? I don't have all of the answers, but I have some! Hit me up on twitter or book a 30min ama for in-depth help.

Ready to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own?  Learn how to build scalable dataviz components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization

Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, modern backend for the frontend engineer.

Ready to learn how it all fits together and build a modern webapp from scratch? Learn how to launch a webapp and make your first 💰 on the side with ServerlessReact.Dev

Want to brush up on your modern JavaScript syntax? Check out my interactive cheatsheet: es6cheatsheet.com

By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️