Dumb bloggers and the commenters who call them out, episode No. 324: Janko Roettgers
Janko Roettgers posted a piece called “Take that, Apple TV: Smart TVs twice as popular as dedicated streaming boxes.”
Of course, the headline is traffic bait:
“Roku boxes and Apple TV streaming devices may be on everyone’s mind, but smart TVs with internet apps are actually a lot more popular.”
Oh, Roku, yeah, you too — TAKE ALL THESE UNIT SALES, BITCHES!
Anyway, Roettgers needs to fill space, so he takes the opportunity to indicate that, because smart TVs are selling better, they’re “winning.” But then he says:
“Of course, one should note that owning a device isn’t the same as using it.”
Yes, “one” should, Janko.
“Only 69 percent of Smart TVs are connected to the internet…”
Still, that’s 69 percent! That means a huge majority of smart TV owners are using the smart parts of their TVs, right?
Oh, no, that’s wrong. Let “Dave” tell you how wrong. But first, let me digress:
It’s currently fashionable for the bloggerati — for instance, John Gruber and MG Siegler — to eschew comments on their platforms because they don’t “add to the conversation” or some such shit. And it’s true, they often attract trolls.
However, “one” suspects that the bloggerati also do not want reasonable people one-upping them on their own soapboxes with commentary that make their assertions look inane.
Because, you know, awwwwwwkwaaaaaaard.
Whenever I read a thoughtless piece such as this, though, I dive into comments (assuming they’re available), because there are often gems to be mined from them.
And lo and behold, “Dave” comments:
“My TV being smart is only because I didn’t have a choice. The smartness came with the TV whether I wanted it to or not. I did make a conscious decision to buy an AppleTV. The Smart stuff in the TV is awkward and generally unpleasant. Not so with my AppleTV.
“Because there isn’t necessarily a choice here of (dumb TV+ smart device) vs SmartTV, the take-away and value of the article/report comes into question.”
When you’re in the market for a new top-end TV, you often end up with a smart TV — whether you want to deal with the unusable “smart” part of it or not.
Roettgers, not really processing what Dave is saying, replies:
“As the article says, 69 percent of Smart TVs are connected, which is a good indicator of consumers using them.”
Love how Roettgers refers to his own article to justify saying what a “good indicator” is. But the data point he points to doesn’t actually show that people use the smart parts of their TVs, as Dave points out:
“Again, I disagree with the interpretation of this data. My Smart TV has been connected since day one for purposes of software updates. I’ve used it’s smart features just enough to know I prefer other ways to do the same.”
Roettgers gets owned. Dave — and commenting — wins this round.
“My Significant Other can afford the best of everything; not stupid but not a computer/internet specialist. She has a high-end internet-enabled TV, an internet-enabled BluRay player, and a TiVo (with internet features). All have the ability to access, say, YouTube, but each component has a slightly different interface and capabilities. She's gotten lost and frustrated in the interface(s) so many times (Was it the YouTube viewer accessed through the TV, or the other one? What interface on the receiver do I use?) that she no longer uses ANY of the features. She's locked all the remotes but the one for the TiVo in the closet; she doesn't even play DVD's anymore, because if she switches to that input she's afraid she won't find her way back. Thanks, consumer electronics industry.”—‘Connected’ TVs Mostly Used Just Like the Unconnected Kind - Slashdot
“The bottom line is smart TVs are dumb. They give us too many options for apps most people will never use, and they do so at the expense of making it simple to find the shows and movies we want to watch, no matter where they are, be it online or on the air.”—
“Google TV” is still the germ of a promising concept: You want to watch something? Well search for it, and we’ll find the stations (and local hard drives, and online services) where you can watch it.
If I want to watch Parks & Recreation, it shouldn’t matter if it’s on Channel 7, NBC.com, Netflix, or downloaded to my iTunes library. Just play the bugger.
Unfortunately, the economics instead result in “Smart TVs” being no more than shopfronts shouting “HEY! HERE’S THE LOGO FOR VUDU.COM AND VIDI.COM AND VUMDUM.COM! SIGN UP WITH THEM FOR $10/MONTH SO WE GET A KICKBACK!”
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