Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Your Next TV Interface Will Be a Tablet

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the no-beldar-the-big-phone dept.

Media 210

waderoush writes "You can forget all the talk about 'smart' and 'connected' TVs: nobody, not even Apple, has come up with an interface that's easy to use from 10 feet away. And you can drastically curtail your hopes that Roku, Boxee, Netflix, and other providers of free or cheap 'over the top' Internet TV service will take over the world: the cable and satellite companies and the content owners have mounted savvy and effective counterstrikes. But there's another technology that really will disrupt the TV industry: tablet computing. The iPad, in particular, is the first 'second screen' device that's good enough to be the first screen. This Xconomy column argues that in the near future, the big-screen TV will turn into a dumb terminal, and your tablet — with its easy-to-use touch interface and its 'appified' approach to organizing content — will literally be running the show in your living room." Using a tablet as a giant remote seems like a good idea, and a natural extension of iPhone and Android apps that already provide media-center control. Maybe I'm too easily satisfied, but the 10-foot interface doesn't seem as hopeless as presented here; TiVo, Apple, and others been doing a pretty good job of that for the past decade.

cancel ×

210 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

So you need a remote for everyone in the household (2)

yellowcord (607995) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159099)

Or do you just have a dedicated tablet that never leaves the viewing area? What about multiple TVs? Gets expensive really quick.

Re:So you need a remote for everyone in the househ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159199)

The article rightfully assumes that every household that has a modern TV will have at least one tablet say, 5 years from now. The tablet will then do some kind of X forwarding to the TV, while possibly locking the rights to display content on it.

I think a bigger challenge will be to do some kind of selective X forwarding so that only certain applications will get forwarded. For example, while watching something on the TV, you might want to quickly messsage someone on you iPad without interrupting the show. It's the same problem with the upcoming Ubuntu + Android phone, I cannot use Android on the phone while using Ubuntu on the large screen.

You are incompetent and ignorant.

Re:So you need a remote for everyone in the househ (4, Insightful)

amck (34780) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159307)

Within that timeframe, everyone will already have one; a smart phone.

Think of the "smart TV" as having a web api: you see a second screen icon on your 'phone, drag a video onto it, the TV (in reality a computer) starts displaying that: pulling content directly not necessarily "X forwarded"
(it would be insane wasting wireless bandwidth in the house supplying a heavy bandwidth SuperHD device that-sits-in-one-place. Control it by wifi, but its main content over a wire.

Finally (4, Funny)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159793)

> Within that time frame, everyone will already have one; a smart phone.

Finally, I can call my remote to find the darn thing.

Re:So you need a remote for everyone in the househ (4, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159351)

But it incorrectly assumes that no one, including Apple, isn't working on exactly this.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/home-theater/apple-patents-new-touchscreen-remote-control-for-a-future-apple-tv/5610 [zdnet.com]

AppleInsider has revealed that Apple has patented a new universal remote that presumably could accompany the Apple television set rumored to be in development.

The company’s remote concept is designed around the concept of a dynamic touchscreen that not only can automatically detect devices (without users needing to punch in special codes), but also present users specific controls for those devices automatically, reducing the number of buttons that typically litter universal remotes.

Re:So you need a remote for everyone in the househ (2)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159591)

Of course Apple is working on exactly this. Why else would it keep [slashdot.org] coming up [slashdot.org] on Slashdot?

Re:So you need a remote for everyone in the househ (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159655)

Yet another example of how fucked up the patent system is. LCD-centric universal remotes have been around for over a decade.

Re:So you need a remote for everyone in the househ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159693)

Not ones that automatically configure themselves.

Re:So you need a remote for everyone in the househ (3, Interesting)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159721)

Except remotes like this totally suck to use. I've tried several, including using the iPhone as a remote. Ignoring the 1-time setup pain, actually using it is annoying. At the very least, you have to keep looking up and down, between the remote and the device to do anything that takes more than one press to accomplish.

Re:So you need a remote for everyone in the househ (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159805)

It doesnt suck. Sure its not ideal, but it works well and its over wifi so it eliminates line-of-sight. Just like everything else compromise is the key. I find the iphone remote app a fair compromise.

Re:So you need a remote for everyone in the househ (0)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159425)

So, your contention is that (regardless of weather or not I can use one) I MUST buy a tablet within five years? I tried to use a Motorola Xoom, The on screen keyboard was (for me) absolutely unusable, the screen was hard to see, and I REALLY don't like the interface (I'd rather use a 3270)! IMHO the common TV remote will be around for decades to come! (except for gadget happy kids).

Re:So you need a remote for everyone in the househ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159607)

No, the contention is that if you chose not to have a tablet, you will be increasingly marginalized, just as if you chose not to have a computer, a cell phone, or some form of transportation. If you will be a luddite, that is your right, but it comes with some costs.

Increasingly in other areas such as automobiles, features are appearing that are only accessible to those with iPhones or iPads. It's like not having a PC in the 1990s: sure, you don't have to have one, but there is a bunch of stuff that you won't be able to do as a result. It's your choice how to make that tradeoff. Stay in the past, if you'd prefer, but don't bitch about the things you can't do as society moves on, or you can keep up with modern life, which is increasingly mobile-centric, and that's only going to accelerate over the next decade.

Re:So you need a remote for everyone in the househ (4, Insightful)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159769)

No, the contention is that if you chose not to have a tablet, you will be made by marketing types to feel increasingly marginalized, just as if you chose not to have a Pet Rock, Chia Pet, Billy the Big Mouth Bass, computer, a cell phone, or some form of transportation. If you will be a luddite or intelligent enough not to buy into the hype, that is your right, but it comes with some costs and many benefits.

Increasingly in other areas such as automobiles, useless features are appearing that are only accessible to those with iPhones or iPads, they are really cool the first three times you use them, they cost almost nothing to the manufacturer, but add to both the purchase price and maintenance costs of the product and they will only be supported for a few years. It's like not having a PC in the 1990s: sure, you don't have to have one, but there is a bunch of stuff that you shouldn't care about and won't be able to do as a result. It's your choice how to make that tradeoff. Stay in the past, if you'd prefer, but don't bitch about the things you can't do as society moves on, or you can keep up with the Joneses / modern life, which is increasingly mobile-centric, and that's only going to accelerate paralleling the decline of modern society / education / freedom over the next decade.

FTFY

Re:So you need a remote for everyone in the househ (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159819)

This whole argument falls flat on its face by anyone saavy enough to actually use the iphone to its full extent. Regardless of your hatred of marketing, Apple makes a PROFOUNDLY useful tool.

Re:So you need a remote for everyone in the househ (0)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159833)

umm... why don't you get an iPad. don't act surprised that the xoom sucks so much.

Re:So you need a remote for everyone in the househ (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159483)

I think we're already there.

Most Americans surf while watching TV. [adweek.com] For those that have "cut the cord" and stream or download all of their media it's only natural that they use a laptop or tablet to find new content and display it on the larger screen.

We cut the cord several years ago, and since streaming media offers few commercials we're not well informed when it comes to new movies or TV series. We'll often use our laptops or tablet (HP Touchpad) while watching TV and come across a movie or new series that looks interesting and start streaming it to the TV through a HTPC. It makes sense that eventually we won't need a HTPC and everything will be sent through the tablet.

Re:So you need a remote for everyone in the househ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159207)

If you buy a modern "smart TV" you're already paying for everything except the extra touch screen. They're just moving existing functionality out of the big screen and putting it into the smaller one to control the bigger one. It will be more expensive than a handheld plastic remote, but it doesn't have to be really expensive. They don't have to use a $500 iPad. And whatever they use, prices will drop fairly rapidly.

Re:So you need a remote for everyone in the househ (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159623)

We already do this at my house, so perhaps the prediction is just for his audience and not for everybody. This is tantalizing close, but it's not quite there. Once there's a true Android Dongle for the HDTV I imagine that there will be an app to make the TV an additional display over wireless, like docking your laptop. You're right - the $100 tablets will do this too if you get the right one because the video hardware decode is typically the last thing they compromise on.

Since I got my transformer, about 90% of my video watching has switched to that - mostly Netflix streaming and streaming from the share. I've watched three full movies on my phone though too.

Re:So you need a remote for everyone in the househ (1)

mea_culpa (145339) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159763)

Why even have a TV? Since I had my tablet I noticed that I watched the big tv much less. My wife and daughter do the same with their tablets. When we moved to our new house last month we never bothered getting a new tv. The nice thing about a tablet is that it is the same as a 50" TV 8ft from the sofa when it is within reach plus the added benefit that you can take it everywhere you go. Now the living room is much cleaner and quieter.

My big screen already is a dumb terminal (4, Insightful)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159121)

Has been for decades, without external network access it does nothing, I have to plug it in to cable, radio or computers for it to be useful.

Re:My big screen already is a dumb terminal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159495)

100% onboard with Osgeld. I have a 1080p panel that I paid too much for but prices are dropping as we speak. iPad/iPhone provides me not just video content to my panel when needed but also as a multifunction, on the go device for music, gaming, publications, communications, and photos. With the use of iCloud for my personal purchases and, along with other content providers like Netflix, NBC, etc., I can get pay as go or recurring access to other content.

Two key things I need to improve:
- better pricing models with larger catalog of content
- damn network access with proper throughput!

The latter being the bane of my media transition right now. Network providers are nearly in the state of infancy with products/cost for pipe. As content quality grows the highway access slows.

Re:My big screen already is a dumb terminal (1)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159839)

yeah but you can control it from the TV. a true dumb terminal is like a monitor. and you! you are a dumb terminal!

It's called an idiot box for a reason ... (5, Interesting)

QuatermassX (808146) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159145)

I think the author of the article summarises the state of the industry quite nicely. We're in the middle of a massively muddled migration from broadcasting toward video on demand (or whatever you want to call it) and delivered over IP. The "connected TV" apps in development in agency labs everywhere are going to fail spectacularly unless they are looking to make apps for iOS, Amazon (not "generic" Android) and perhaps Windows that stream video content.

I already use my iPhone and iPad as remotes with AirPlay it's absurdly simple to flip video onto any screen in my house or office.

But will broadcasters like Sky and Comcast go for this? And will this fly in non-American/European countries where state and local satellite broadcasters will fight like hell not to be disintermediated?

What do we think?

Re:It's called an idiot box for a reason ... (1)

John_3000 (166166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159433)

The reason for a"second screen" GUI is that the first screen isn't big enough. To serve well as a GUI a distant TV screen should subtend a solid angle comparable to that of a (close) computer monitor screen. At 10 or 15 feet distance that's a pretty big TV screen. Bigger than 60 inches. So big that what you really want instead is a projector TV shining on most of a wall.

I think that rather than watch TV on an otherwise pretty much useless tablet, I'll wait for that projector.

kind of slow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159149)

Uhh, I use mobile mouse and VNC as the input device to control the computer hooked up to our TV. If what I did while drunk is that cosmic, I want the 80's back.

That's pretty presumpyuous. (-1, Flamebait)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159151)

A TV remote cost $5-$15. A tablet costs as much as some TVs. So I'll have to buy a $250 tablet to change channels on a $200 TV? I don't think so.

I don't have a tablet, nor will I until I can get one that's not tied to a phone contract.

Re:That's pretty presumpyuous. (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159179)

presumpyuous... damned fat figners!

Re:That's pretty presumpyuous. (3, Insightful)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159235)

FWIW, the Kindle Fire, the Nook Color, and the iPad are all available in contract-free form. You don't like those?

Re:That's pretty presumpyuous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159367)

They're all pretty difficult to do any amount of typing on.
They should make one with a keyboard that closes up against the screen while simultaneously protecting it...... that'd be cool.

Re:That's pretty presumpyuous. (2, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159673)

Yes, it is cool. [amazon.com]

Re:That's pretty presumpyuous. (1)

bjwest (14070) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159255)

I don't have a tablet, nor will I until I can get one that's not tied to a phone contract.

If you get a phone contract on your non 3G tablet, I have a bridge I'll sell you real cheap like.

Re:That's pretty presumpyuous. (2)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159345)

I don't have a tablet, nor will I until I can get one that's not tied to a phone contract.

Today's your lucky day! Pretty well every tablet can be bought without a contract. The ones that can are the exception, not the rule.

Re:That's pretty presumpyuous. (2)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159369)

This is not about creating a new remote for your TV. This is saying your TV is the "big remote display" of your phone (or iPad).

People already surf around with the iPad, they find a funny video of some guy feeding vegetables to his cat or whatever, then saying "Oh, watch this" and hand it to their friend. Now they'll just send it to the big screen.

The advantage is that the iPhone/iPad/Android interface is the one you're already very comfortable with. It's in your pocket 24x7. You already know how to use it and find things with it. The ugly 10-foot interface isn't important, because you look at the handheld to do everything.

The disadvantage is that the iPad isn't a great remote control device. It's made to be interacted with, not to be grabbed and clicked. When you're watching a show and the phone rings, you don't want to study the device to find the mute icon - you want to slide your thumb to the mute button and click. And it's fragile, you can't casually toss it to your friend.

So for everything up to the time when you start watching the show, the iPad is great. For everything after the show has started, current remotes are great.

Re:That's pretty presumpyuous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159471)

That all depends on how well the app is designed. And, for that matter, I have a hard time quickly finding any specific button on the TV remote...I don't use the TV all that much.

Re:That's pretty presumpyuous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159619)

Solution: in a corner, a tiny box on the big television could show easy instructions on how to mute whenever the phone rings.

Re:That's pretty presumpyuous. (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159519)

The TV remote might not go away, just like the buttons on the TV didn't go away. It's just that nobody (except maybe you) will use it anymore.

I've already got four remotes that are gathering dust and a tablet that actually controls what's on the TV screen.

Re:That's pretty presumpyuous. (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159551)

That would be right now then, since you can buy all the major tablets without a phone contract.

Close, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159717)

That's pretty presumpyuous.

The word you want is presumpyou, the contraction of "presumptuous of" and "you".

Making words up is fun. 'splains a lotta stuff 2 me n u 2.

A TV remote cost $5-$15. A tablet costs as much as some TVs. So I'll have to buy a $250 tablet to change channels on a $200 TV?

That attitude is sooooo last millennium.

These days, replacing all that dino shit that worked so well and was so cheap (500-set telephone, anyone?) with obscenely expensive disposable poorly functioning crap (which will have filled every square inch of China 100 feet high in dumped waste such as "ancient" PDA's {shit, man, they're putting out an iPhone 5, time to ditch that crappy old iPhone 4 in your pocket!} in 10 years), with obsolescence cycles so short that the product isn't even developed yet and its already obsolete, and getting everyone to sell their soles, lives and eternal gratitude to the bastard devils, er, make that magnificent gods of the telecommunications dynasties is what it's all about! Get with the program!

I don't think so.

Pssssst - your 80's is showing!

I don't have a tablet, nor will I

"nor"? Who the fuck uses proper grammar (or logical declarations) these days? U dn have 2 not doit 2day. Its 2012. K?

until I can get one that's not tied to a phone contract.

No-one sells things anymore. They only rent. No-one cures illnesses any more, they just produce drugs that will perpetually medicate. You can no longer buy a pack of fucking chewing gum without being forced into a 5-year one-way contract with a fucking chewing gum service provider. Did you want a warranty contract with that? You get air-miles with it. Pull out one of you 650 credit-cards to pay for it, So what if you owe 43 thousand dollars - you've got cledit, er credit! You deserve it.

It's the new millennium. These new kids haven't got a fucking clue how fucked up things are. They are totally pawned and they don't give a shit. Privacy is for the 1900's. Gimme my Facefuckingbook - the world does not exist without it. Saddam had weapons of mass destruction - the gubbermint would never lie just to steal oil for their owners and at the same time get rid of millions of tons of bombs so that taxpayers can pay more for oil and pay again for new bombs. The ferriners are all terrists and you must give up all rights so that Government Inc. can save you and your dollars from the pure evil hell and the living damned beyond outside borders (who all want to kill us anyway, because they want our iPhones). It's better that way. Ferriners is sub-human anyway. Drones! Re-mote controlled Drones will save us! We can kill with impunity! We have FREEDOM!

Now, get those damned kids off your lawn!

Re:Close, but ... (1)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159849)

you are awesome. you troll so much better than I do!

Wiimote. (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159165)

Relabel some of the controls for channel and volume up and down and source select, and you're sorted.

Seriously. It's so intuitive to use as an on-screen pointing device for more complex selections, but it's about the size of the remote that came with my last TV. You could mount the IR LEDs for the "sensor bar" somewhere in the bezel, without having to have extra stuck-on bits.

Re:Wiimote. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159279)

Absolutely agree with the Parent on the usage.

It is however not a distant dream - WiiMC on the Wii via homebrew already does is quite nicely.

Highly doubt it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159177)

What would you rather do watch on a 10 inch tablet you have to hold in your hands and look down at in most cases. Or 50 inch HD t.v. lying on your couch.

VODAFONE ITALY (1)

fivizzano (655828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159181)

vodafone just launched a Android tablet and smartphone multiscreen extension ofr their cheap dvbt set top box and telecom as well as wind are well on their way to extend their offering with similar tablet centric apps

Old news is old. (3, Informative)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159189)

I already control my media with my phone. I have a DLNA/UPNP server and a DLNA/UPNP BluRay player. My phone can watch the movies or send them from the server to the player.

I bought the HDD with the server off of woot.com over a year ago, and I've found that XBMC makes my dedicated drive look crappy (but the dedicated drive takes less power and space).

I started this back in my iProduct days with iTunes. I just wanted something a little less iWalledGarden so I went with UPNP as much as possible (due to it being totally open) with DLNA as a sort of "make it work smoother with products that don't like open" patch.

To top it all off my Bluray player has a remote control application for my phone that doesn't say anything about being DLNA.

Re:Old news is old. (1)

maitai (46370) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159393)

Same here as far as "old news" goes. Although it's my TVs themselves that do DLNA and not my (I don't own one) Bluray player.

I'm guessing your Bluray player is a Sony? (I don't know if other manufactures are using Wifi for some of their remotes but Sony has starting with their 2011 product lines hence their apps for allowing some mobile phones to act as a remote).

Re:Old news is old. (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159561)

LG, I'm somewhat on the anti-Sony bandwagon, it's for their own good, if I and everyone else stops buying their products maybe they'll stop trying to force "memory stick", root kits, proprietary connectors on their portable game consoles on us and open up their tech a little.

I actually got into quite a bit of detail on my review [amazon.com] of the LG player. I've also got some advice for using the Samsung player [amazon.com] . Don't.

Older news is even older. (1)

banda (206438) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159631)

Sony Tablet S - it's an Android tablet that can do DLNA, Sony Media Remote over IP, AND has an IR blaster built in with an awesome multi-device interface. Good looking tablet, controls everything, can "throw" and "catch" media to my network connected TV.

So it's quite likely that my next TV interface will be a tablet... because my CURRENT TV interface is a tablet

Re:Older news is even older. (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159719)

Thanks to my Bluray player the TV I'm piping this to is an SD 36" Mitsubishi Diamatron tube....
At least the Bluray player is HD.

(I'm going to get an LG HDTV eventually)

Buttons required (4, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159201)

The whole point of TV is to veg out and channel surf. It's called an "idiot box" for reason. Anything that takes your eyes off the screen ruins the experience. This is why a pad remote will never work in a million years on the market. You simply must have physical tactile buttons on a remote. Some virtual interface on a sheet of glass will not do.

This idea is an epic fail!

Re:Buttons required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159313)

yeah, and tablets and smart phones are just a blip ...

Re:Buttons required (3, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159397)

Not everybody flat lines when they are watching TV.

I see people using iPhones / iPads / Androids who appear to be routinely operating with less than a dozen functional neurons, so the bar here isn't very high.

Re:Buttons required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159415)

Yeah.. because when I'm looking to change channels on the TV, I am damn certain to be interested in the content of the current channel. Obviously, I'm so interested, I want to get away.

Re:Buttons required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159579)

channel surf

That's sooo 20th century. It's all about video-on-demand now.

You make a playlist of the shows/episodes you want to watch (or one is assembled for you based on your past viewing behavior).
Then you sit back and veg - no "surfing" required.

Or maybe you've missed the surge of Netflix/Hulu/Youtube/Pandora? (hell, even TiVo)
People know what they want to watch, and when they want to watch it (right now! damnit!).
The old days of "nothing good on" or "gotta wait until 8:30pm for my show to come on" are fading fast (not fast enough, IMHO).

There are undoubtedly people that will watch "whatever is on", but their numbers are shrinking as more people learn they don't have to be bound to the broadcast/schedule model.

Re:Buttons required (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159639)

For most, TV isn't so much an active experience where they know exactly what they want as it is a passive one. People live busy lives or are just plain lazy to begin with. They want to be entertained with minimal effort. Something that is therapeutic. Channel surfing is that ballanced compromise between being fully engaged in the experience and comatose.

Re:Buttons required (4, Insightful)

ninetyninebottles (2174630) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159609)

The whole point of TV is to veg out and channel surf. It's called an "idiot box" for reason.

I disagree. One way of using a TV is to channel surf through lots of crap. Another way is to pull up a queue of shows you're interested in and watch one of the ones on top. Another way is to pull up a specific show or movie via search o by inserting a disc. Yet another way is to watch a genre specific channel of shows.

You're making the mistake of thinking one use case (maybe one you prefer) is and will remain the dominant use case. Current TV remotes are optimized for that use case and they really, really, really suck for most of the others. Navigating a list of shows for on demand TV, for example, is painfully bad.

Anything that takes your eyes off the screen ruins the experience.

For channel surfing one could have a modal interface with two huge buttons to prevent one having to take their eyes off the screen, but it is not clear this will remain a common use case when televisions are networked and more capable. For things like selecting a Netflix show (for example), I'd rather have a handy tablet to select from a list where I can type in search terms and touch the titles directly. trying to use a keyboard or remote where I need to type letters, while looking up at a big screen is no fun at all.

No more fighting over the remote... (2)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159205)

...now everyone can have their own tablet and fight over control of the boob tube.

And do people really feel the need for an "'appified' approach to organizing content" on their TV? Sheesh, get a life.

Maybe, but it won't be an iPad (3, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159209)

We'll probably see a generation of remotes that look more like a e-reader, with a nonvolatile display. Most tablet devices require charging daily, if not more often. TV remotes today only need batteries once every few years.

Re:Maybe, but it won't be an iPad - Why Not? (4, Informative)

microcars (708223) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159273)

You seem to be treating the iPad as a dedicated TV remote that never gets used for anything else.
The iPad is already next to me whenever I am watching TV. I check texts, emails, look up actors that are in the movies we are watching, etc etc.
When I am done watching TV, I don't leave the iPad on the couch, it goes with me, unlike the remote that is normally dedicated to the TV.

So why wouldn't I charge it every day?

The 10 foot interface blows (4, Interesting)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159229)

I've not seen a 10 foot interface done well. Most are too much like the giant accessibility font versions of GUIs. They all look like I have a 420i display on a 19" TV that's 10' away. If I have a big screen with 1080p, please put more stuff on it! Paging down through a channel guide five lines at a time when I could easily be viewing 20 or more at a time is frustrating.

And navigating with a 4-way button isn't the greatest, either. I'm thinking that using the iPhone as a Wacom pad-like device operating as a remote mouse would be a lot easier than click-up-up-up-over-over-oops-too-far-back-OK.

IR remotes aren't the greatest, either. Without feedback, they have no way of ensuring the button pressed by the user makes it to the device.

Kinect has an interesting concept: reach to the widget and hold steady until it activates. Not sure I like it, but at least they're trying something new. Of course, it's not nearly "ready enough" to be a general purpose remote, at least not yet. It can't identify the average couch potato if they're not standing up.

The Sonos application on the iPhone is probably the kind of interface that works best. Use the local pad to browse and navigate, then once the selection is made, command the big screen to do it. Which is what the TFA is no doubt saying.

Kinect has an interesting concept... (3, Funny)

da5idnetlimit.com (410908) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159443)

until you punch in the air as your team is close to scoring a goal and find yourselt automatically switched to the cooking channel...

Apple TV (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159269)

So the author is a fan of Apple TV even though he doesn't seem to be familiar with the concept. My nephew "sends movies" from his iPod to the TV now. I for one don't want to keep charging batteries in my "remote". TV is fine just the way it is. In fact, it's time for me to unplug cable and go back to real HD with the antenna.

The Achilles Heel (2)

SpeZek (970136) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159289)

Batteries. It's already annoying when the batteries in your remote run out every couple years. Now what: change them 3 times a week? Have a big ugly extension cable running across the floor to the coffee table for a recharging dock?

Re:The Achilles Heel (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159545)

Because it's so hard to put your phone or tablet on the charger each night. NOBODY will ever do that!

Windows Media Center is easy to use from 10 feet (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159291)

My Windows Media Center setup was very plug-and-play and is easy to use from 10 feet away. The only issue are website that's use Flash for layout and consequently don't respect the browsers zoom setting.

Two hands (4, Insightful)

jamesl (106902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159297)

Just what I need. A two-handed remote.

Please pass the chips.

Re:Two hands (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159373)

You need one to jack off?

Re:Two hands (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159429)

Don't you?

What a crystal ball! (2)

Brummund (447393) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159299)

Was there actually anything he predicted that can't be done with a iPad and an AirPlay-compatible device, like a receiver or Apple TV 2?

orly? (1)

gtcodave (2581251) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159315)

no I dont believe it. there's been a curse for remotes for years. none of the universal remote software ever has your telly or the device u get doesn't have IR. if things change in a decade I will be suprised. think about how long it too to standardise a plug socket for powering a tv or lately the new microusb for smart phones. grimbles grumbles cynicism maybe. but I bet u it takes forever.

I'm not wasting a tablet just for a remote control (2)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159321)

This sounds a lot like overkill, considering the amount of processing power in a tablet (and their beavy battery demands - the TV tablet will spend most of it's time on charge - which is even more inconvenient). Since all new TVs already contain a fair amount of "intelligence" the obvious choice is to increment what's already in the box, rather than needing to get a tablet computer for every member of the family - or one that can be used by everyone: from age 2 to age 100.

Ideally, the need for controlling a TV should be on the decrease very soon. Hopefully it's not too long a wait until they are able to learn who wants to watch what and come up with their own plan to record, play and manage the various viewers' schedule.

These already exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159325)

And have done for a long ass time now. Seriously, I remember these things in the 90s.

Oh, that's right, they failed to get any audience as well because THEY COST A LOT TO MAKE.
You're literally speaking of a $300+ remote control!

Unless you make it an absolutely barebones touchscreen, basic communication and nothing else, nobody is going to replace a cheap piece of plastic with an expensive tablet.
There are already remote control interface apps for various types of screens, but there is no standard with anything, which again is why it hasn't caught on with anyone.
TV manufacturers are as clueless as the people who watch the things, it seems. (as is this article)

Savvy and effective counterstrikes? (1)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159329)

Ah, you've gotta be kidding me. The cable/satellite companies and content owners are stumbling around liberally applying ineffective protectionism and half-assed policies. Eventually our $100 tv and $50 internet bills will turn into a $150 internet bill with the cable and satellite companies providing the bandwidth.

It already did. (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159335)

Most every TV out there has an iPhone app to control it over ethernet/WiFi already.

And DirecTV already has an app to control your satellite box.

We've been doing just this for years (1)

func (183330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159343)

The iphone/android makes a better remote, in that it's always in your pocket or nearby to start with, but it's basically the same idea as a tablet remote. I've actually started watching more TV in the last few years despite not having a TV, because it's so easy to find a show I'd like to watch and then watch it, when I want to watch it. The Mobile Mouse app on my phone lets me use the laptop/projector combo in our living room from anywhere, and anyone with a phone can do it to. It's too bad that it's still fairly difficult to get specific content on a computer these days though - it's still much easier to just pirate shows than it is to find a legitimate site to download or stream it - THAT is the epic fail in my opinion.

Nothing new... (2)

ZenDragon (1205104) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159375)

I have been doing this for quite some time now with my Android tablet, my phone as well. Why is it that whenever people write stupid articles like this they act like the iPad is some how leading the charge?? The only thing the iPad really has going for it is market share, otherwise this is nothing new.

Re:Nothing new... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159559)

And I've been doing it for some time with my iPad, and even longer with my iPhone. What's your point?

Re:Nothing new... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159741)

even my 70+ year old parents have been using their iPads for this since apple TV2 came out. It's really old news.

No it won't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159381)

This whole thing reminds me of when we made a calculator in Minecraft using redstones. Lets get something highly overpowered to do a simple task. And like the "You WILL use facebook" statements this one simply does not apply to everyone. I don't have a tablet or iPhone or Android and I don't need one. All my TV does is play the occasional DVD.

Nothing else needed but On / OFF, Play / Eject, Pause and volume control.

I already do that. (3, Interesting)

JustShootMe (122551) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159391)

I already do that. I have a Mac Mini attached to my TV running XBMC as a media server, and I use my iPad using rowmote as the controller. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Apple - but it Just Works. In fact, I like the setup so much I made the mac mini my dedicated media server and got an Airbook for development and everyday computing.

Only thing I don't like is the Mac Mini doesn't have BluRay. Other than that, everything I could want.

Tablets themselves (1)

goathumper (1284632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159401)

The tablets themselves as first screens should be the most disruptive of all. The ability to stream TV shows live onto your tablet while you relax outside on the porch would be tantamount to having your cake and eating it too. No more having to plan a living room around a TV: except for those larger events like the superbowl, or for the movie freaks who like to have a home theater setup for a "movie experience". However, those are "specialized applications" of the television signal - for the "base application" of the tv signal, display on a tablet would be good enough for most use cases methinks.

Convergence (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159413)

This is extremely short-sighted. First: It's bizarre to think people who have a smart phone that does what they need and also a remote would want to "upgrade" to a smart phone and also an ipad they have to look at and fiddle with to get their TV to do something. Phone as a remote I can see but making the remote larger and more complicated at the cost of the viewer's experience.... no. Second: It's hard to look forward to a time when everything has as much power as it needs but that's what we must do. What do people want in a TV viewing experience? Immersion, simplicity, intuitive interfaces, and programming that pleases them. Think of what provides these things: That's the future of television. Imagine a television that knows you have a date at 7, that you're into science fiction but already saw the latest sf show and don't like watching the same one twice, and that you will get up to fix a snack in about an hour. It makes a very accurate guess. If you don't like it you won't have to flip through channel guides or pages of various shows. you'll be able to say (yes, out loud) "television, some comedy tonight" and get a show you probably want to see. Or push a button on a simple remote for the same effect. Technology is moving away from difficult and unintuitive interfaces not toward them.

Re:Convergence (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159583)

Convergence: the functions of a TV (except for the big screen) will converge with smart phones and tablets. Your phone will know what you want to watch, recommend things for you, record shows (for the short remaining time that such a concept still means anything).

Re:Convergence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159615)

Convergence died as soon as the media execs realized that having a one device to do all things would mean anyone could do all things to "their" content. One could only wonder why they didn't realize that the same instant that they came up with the buzzword.

Their current crusade is to try and kill all devices that can do more than one thing. Thankfully they're losing.

No it won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159445)

My next and only tv interface will be a computer monitor, the same as billions of other people. I guess when your only tool is a tablet, a tablet seems to be the answer for everything.

the missing feature (2)

MikeB0Lton (962403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159447)

Remotes today all miss the big feature we want: two-way communication. If the state of the devices can be reported back to the controls, it opens the door for better interfaces. Until that happens across the industry, we'll be stuck with cluttered and confusing designs. Apple AirPlay is promising, but it requires a compatible device and expensive hardware (Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, etc).

Re:the missing feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159481)

Oh noes, the small black Apple TV box is $99USD! It's way too expensive, their competitors are selling their boxes $80USD! Waah! Waah!

Re:the missing feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159831)

and the cost of an iPad...$500.... yes oh no....waah waah....sorry, but not every one wants to buy into apples eco-system. I think this is for the people who want it, to others such as me, no matter who makes this, it is a waste of money. But what the heck, the economy is booming and every one has lots of extra money to throw around. Let's see $100 for TV, 50 for internet , another 80 for phone.....every month, and everybody wonders why they have no cash and have to borrow.

Pretty obvious tech path (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159457)

Our phone/tablet will be interchangeable to any dummy terminal. We already have Bluetooth keyboards and mice. The only step left is streaming the video signal wirelessly.

No, it will not (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159477)

I dropped TV about 9 years ago, due to unbearable stupidity and zero entertainment value.

And even if it were, is there any news here?

ten feet + away is easy (2)

ffflala (793437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159501)

There certainly are interfaces that are easy to use from 10'+ away: quality wireless keyboards with an integrated cursor control. My screen is over ten feet away and has been for some time. Honestly, it's not advanced wizardry to set one's menu and input font sizes to something readable from a distance.

I currently use a high end wireless keyboard with an integrated mousepad, a Logitech DiNovo Edge. (Cheaper wireless keyboards with an integrated trackballs can do, but I've yet to find one that lasts.) Applications are set to escaped function keys, online streaming sources are prominently bookmarked, and the touch-activated lighted volume slider is an impressive stylistic touch. There is very little need to see and respond to a visual onscreen interface when watching or listening to media, only media selection.

Yes it's a big, thin remote, but I find it far less a PITA than four differently-sized remotes tied to various devices, with overlapping and inconsistent functions.

Non-tactile remotes DO NOT WORK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159505)

I have tried to use a touch screen interface before with a Sony remote. It sucks! You need physical buttons to surf as a male. Touchscreens work fine if you only want to power up the tv, the blu ray player, the amp, and you just hit play. A tablet/flat interface does NOT work when you want to fly around channels, do PIP, record one thing, watch two shows at once...all while severely irritating a spouse trying to watch with you.

Maybe that's why the divorce rate is so high.

If a tablet becomes the interface for tv, you won't have as much surfing and perhaps the divorce rates would go down! Genius!

Is this guy living ten years in the past? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159507)

I can only assume this guy is living ten or fifteen years in the past. Between cable TV (UK televisions have never had cable decoders built-in), Freeview and a PVR, I think I've used the internal tuner on a TV for a total of about 6 months since 1999.

I guess you have no friends or family (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159541)

And you live alone. Yaaay you.

My next TV interface will be a brick (1)

Pf0tzenpfritz (1402005) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159555)

I got rid of Tee-Vee eight years ago and I'll happily brick-interface with any TV set someone brings to my place.

Ya, RIM already does this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159571)

Ya, RIM has products that already do this. Conent your playbook to your TV. Control your Playbook with your Blackberry .... Just YouTube recent Playbook commercials.

Kids? (3, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159633)

Do any of the people advocating using a $500 tablet as a remote to my $800 TV have any kids? The remote has been dropped more times than I can count (and that's just from me, not including the kids). It's regularly coated with chocolate, popcorn butter, and other food residue, and has survived more than one bath in coke.

When my wife wants the remote, I just toss it to her across the room, something I'm not likely to do when it's a heavy tablet (even if I wasn't worried about her missing it and having it crash to the floor).

I don't want a tablet to control my TV, I want a rugged remote and I don't want to add 50% (or even 10%) to the cost of the TV by having to purchase a tablet to control it.

Bullshit (3, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159729)

10' interface works exceptionally well. Ask any TiVo user. Simple, intuitive, complete. Thing is, for $170 a year, most consumers expect more content than guide data and software updates, or at least access to your shows and recorded data. The industry hated the concept of TiVo and killed the real content (no cable or sat for you!), the users hated the restrictions that kept them from the content they'd recorded and limitations on what could be played from their own network. TiVo puts everything else to shame when it comes to controls and useful simplicity. Really, any TV control box that I can plug in, hand my wife the remote and manual, and walk away is an absolute winner.

The interface already exists, but it will be under patent lock and key for another decade.

i don't think so, Slashtard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159751)

the remote will be with us for a long, long, long time

samsung (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39159781)

Pshh i currently use my samsung tab with my samsung smart tv way ahead of you guys on that note, and im going over my wifi network so my range is well over 10 feet. Samsung ftw

would prefer my phone (1)

PortaDiFerro (1719902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159827)

I have actually been looking for some kind of bluetooth-IR bridge to control my home theater with my phone. After all that's always in my pocket and all them remotes could be where-ever the kids have left them. Noticed some solution for iPhone a while back, but of course that's as closed as every iThing. Might just have to build one myself one of these days.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>