The age of smart TVs is said to have dawned around 2010, when some Internet-hooked up gadgets came out of the January Consumer Electronics show, but it feels like we're still waiting for a smarter television set. Two years ago, we saw the debut (and failure) of the Google TV. In 2011 smart TVs made up 10 percent of the TV showing at the gadget mecca, up from 8 percent the year before. And by CES 2012 they were everywhere. And we thus got a bunch of blog posts talking up the rise of the smart TV. Today, there are two more additions to the smart TV world, as LG confirmed it would ship two new, better versions of Google's latest try and Lenovo now selling its 55-inch K91 smart TV to Chinese consumers. If this is the Smart TV era, we may just wait it out until the next era arrives. It shouldn't be too long.
We've lamented this Smart TV fallacy before. Smart just means Internet connected and that's just not all that exciting to us or consumers. A recent survey by YouGov found that most buyers of smart TVs upgraded because they wanted a more up-to-date set -- not because the smart TV won them over with its smarts. Even these new Smart TVs aren't much of a departure from the stuff we've seen before. The new LG Google TV will run faster and have a Magic Remote, which allows for motion and voice enabled controls. Google also upgraded its software last fall, which did improve the experience. But, stripped down, it's still a TV with an Internet port.