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Will We Still Own TVs In The (Near) Future?

At Apple’s recent product announcement the long rumored iWatch finally materialized. But conspicuously absent yet again was another equally heavily rumored product: a smart TV.

It seems unlikely that this product will ever become a reality. What’s really the point?

Any TV now can be turned into a “smart TV” by plugging a Roku, Apple TV Chromecast, Blu-ray player, etc. into it. And, many TVs ship with streaming capability built in.

In fact, it seems clear that Apple is betting on more and more TV and movie viewing happening on phones and tablets. Besides having larger screens, a whopping 128 GB hard drive is available for the new iPhones phones. That will allow you to locally store a sizeable video collection.

So this got me thinking — if my TV were to die tomorrow, would I replace?

Between my computer, iPhone and iPad I have plenty of other devices for watching video. And, I already do end up watching a lot of content on them — I watch most of the TV shows I follow on my iPad while at the gym.

The desirability and status of large TVs has definitely waned in recent years. Growing up in the 1980s, TVs were a status symbol. Not only did they generally cost a lot back than, but anything larger than 20” was really expensive. I still remember the day that our 13” TV died and my father finally agreed to upgrade and buy a 24” one.

And after I graduated college and got my first apartment, one of my very first purchases was the largest TV I could afford. That purchase was a kind of milestone in my young adult life. There wasn’t much else in my apartment besides some IKEA furniture and that 46” LCD TV.

It’s a bit ironic that back in the ‘80s I despised watching movies and TV shows at home because our TV was so small, and begged my parents for years to buy a larger TV (which they refused to do because the 13 incher was not broken), but today, I willingly watch a lot of things on my 9.7” iPad screen instead of my 46” TV!

There’s no doubt that some content is best enjoyed on as big of a screen as possible, but clearly much of my desire for a large screen was purely about status and being sensitive to the fact that all of my friends’ homes had larger TVs.

Yet, despite my desire for a larger TV back then, it was clear that what I wanted was my own TV. My brother and I had countless fights over who would have control of the remote — we did not see eye-to-eye on TV show preferences — and neither of us particularly liked what our parents would watch. In any multi-person household, it seems much more practical to just give everyone their own tablet then invest in a single large display device.

So would I replace my TV? At this point I think I’d go with a projector for the occasions I want to see something on a big screen; to get rid of the giant footprint that my TV stand takes up; and to make moving a lot easier.

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