With a lot of interest I read the NY Times article “Seeing the Future in 3-D television” (link). It’s great to see TV makers trying to expand the possibilities to enjoy content. Of course the 50 USD a pop for the special 3D glasses and not to mention the additional production costs for studios to optimize their footage for 3D might just halt this innovation but in the end: if consumers want it, why not?
I think though that TV makers should rethink the “TV” brand drastically. In stead of improving the basic media consumption on the screen it would be better to expand the meaning of a TV. Think about it: 3D is just an additional option after black/white, color screens and HD screens. These technology changes have not changed the meaning of TV, TV makers brands and value at all.
In fact: since the arrival of cable boxes the basic user experience is not anymore with the TV brand but it is with your Time Warner provided cable box… When was the last time you touched your TVs remote control? Yes, the cable box made the TV maker brand almost irrelevant.
So, TV makers here is an idea: expand the meaning of the “TV” brand by going horizontal. Incorporate all the features of an Apple TV (with better storage, connection and video codecs), add internet connection, get partnerships with Netflix, Amazon, Hulu all to bypass cable providers. Make the TV the center piece. You can expand the meaning of TV and with that the meaning of your brand. And that can only be good: moving from a TV maker of “well designed TVs with a good screen” to a maker of “TVs with instant access to all entertainment regardless where it is” will have much more value in the long run.