Uh oh. Looks like TV manufacturers's collective rush to put Internet-connected goodness in their televisions may be a little premature. According to a new survey by the research group NPD-InStat, 53 percent of people who pick up a so-called Smart TV don't even bother to hook it up to the Internet.
Smart televisions, like those made by Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and others, are the next wave of TV technology, following last year's rush to 3D (also largely ignored by consumers). Most offer a custom Web browsing experience, enabling a variety of utility apps and games in addition to certain kinds of media streaming. But, obviously, if the TV isn't even connected to the Internet all of that functionality goes down the toilet.
So what's to blame for the throngs of people letting their Smart TVs act stupid? Ignorance about the TV's true potential? General indifference? Old school laziness? Probably a combination of all three.
No one would doubt that, on its face, having a TV that's connected to the Internet opens up a slew of new possibilities for living room entertainment. Realizing that potential, though, is going to take many more months and years of innovative thinking (and marketing dollars) on the part of both the manufacturers and content providers. Oh, and there could soon be steep competition.