Hey Lifehacker, Why does the tech industry get fixated on things of questionable interest or value? I've never met anyone that truly cares about 3D TV, yet it was all we heard about for a couple of years. Same with Smart TV (Smart TV interfaces are slow and clunky), voice control (useful but not essential) and wearables. I'd rather have a decent Apple TV-style device. Do people really want this stuff? Do people just buy it because it's there? Thanks, TV Overload
TV picture from Shutterstock
There are a few different elements at play here:
- Rampant capitalism Gadget builders want to sell you new gear as often as possible, because that's how they make money. Adding "fresh" features is one obvious way to try and persuade you to part with your cash.
- Yesterday's must-have is today's standard feature Because technology evolves so rapidly, the period between when something gets added (and justifies a higher price tag) and when it becomes an expected feature is shorter than ever. 3D is a good example. There's not much happening in 3D content generation outside of cinema movies, but 3D display is now pretty much a standard on all but the very cheapest TVs. You may not use it, but nor are you paying a premium for it these days.
- Not everything works Yeah, some ideas just suck — but that isn't always evident until the product goes on sale. Sometimes getting the idea right requires persistence and some iffy generations in-between. Smart TVs aren't there yet, but the concept of being able to watch more than just scheduled broadcast content clearly has legs. Primarily, it needs a better interface and a more open approach, not a "buy this TV and be locked to these providers" mentality.
The key thing to remember: you don't have to read about those new options, and you don't have to buy them straight away (unless your current TV stops working altogether). As an individual consumer, you have power over your wallet. Use that power wisely to meet your needs — and realise they might not be the same as everyone else's needs.
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