We’ve been sitting through a barrage of product announcements from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) over the last week, and I’ll admit, I’m starting to get numb. Our old DLP rear-screen projection box is starting to look a bit dim (and I’ve replaced the bulb once already), so sometime soon a new television may be in the cards. But the feature-bloat we’re seeing these days is a bit ridiculous. Every set seems to have 3D that nobody wants (we have a hard enough time keeping track of game controllers, and they want us to buy expensive glasses, too?), widgets that would duplicate (or triplicate) services I already have on other devices, and over-clocked refresh rates that make classic cinema look like it was shot on video. In the ’80s.
So, in the spirit of consumer feedback, here are some features that would actually make me interested in a new TV:
1. Upscaling every input. Many Blu-Ray players will do this for regular DVD discs, so why couldn’t the TV do it for any and all signals?
2. Bluetooth connectivity. I’m not so worried about having Skype on my TV, but how about having it sync with my iPhone and turn into a big hands-free device when someone calls? Bonus points for being able to pause the DVR (or having the DVR functions in the TV).
3. A swivel base. At a minimum, a proper gadget-hound is going to have to play with the cords once every couple of months. How about making it a little easier to access them?
4. Integrated surround-sound tuner. I mean, come on – it’s one extra board you have to stuff in the box somewhere, and then we get rid of half the cords! Extra credit if you build a power strip/power conditioner into the back so all the components can plug into it as well.
5. On-screen universal remote programming. Indeed, the Logitech Harmony system is the best thing around. Have it be the included remote, and then have the internet-based programming software be embedded in the TV, so everything happens in the same room! And if you have the bluetooth in #2 above, you can sync your wireless keyboard to make the data entry go quickly.
Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments below!