Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Sharp Aquos Quattron 80” LED Smart 3D TV - Internet TV is growing
Consumption of video entertainment is shifting from cable TV to internet based. The days of the telcos selling both cable and internet is changing as people cut the cord and increasingly migrate online for their TV fix. In an eMarketer report, 60% of US internet users surveyed told AYTM Market Research that they still had a cable TV subscription in May 2013, while another 23% said they had a subscription in the past, but not any longer. Further evidence of this trend is that 44% of households have a TV connected to the internet up from 24% in 2010 according to an LRG Research report.

 

People are consuming internet TV/video on their smartphone, tablet, laptop, computer and smart TV. Driving this online consumption are two big players in internet TV  - YouTube and Netflix, along with the ability to watch your favourite TV show from a station’s website on demand. Netflix plans to launch HD and 3D streaming in the future. As further indication of where this market might be going, take TSN, which sold an online viewing package for the World Juniors Hockey Tournament this year for $20.

Another emerging trend magazine publishers will have to keep their eye on is the use of mobile devices (smartphone and tablets) as a second screen while watching TV. In a world of multitasking people are looking at these devices during commercial breaks to learn about an actor or actress, dig up more info on the show or movie they’re watching, shop for products in ads and more, according to an April 2013 report.

 

Can magazine publishers play in this arena with their content and produce their own internet/cable TV show? Cottage Life Media is doing as much with its partnership with Blue Ant Media. Rogers Sportsnet now includes TV, radio, magazine, digital, web and sports properties as part of its media mix. AOL has launched a video service packaged as AOL Video Channel with 17 channels of video content covering a wide variety of topics including how-tos.

So it is only natural to look at smart TVs as part of the media equation for magazine publishers. For a sense of the equipment being offered to consumers, I had a chance to play with the Sharp Aquos Quattron 80” LED Smart 3D TV.

Sharp Aquos Quattron 80” LED Smart 3D TV
Sharp Aquos Quattron 80” LED Smart 3D TV

I watched it from eight feet away and it provides a large-screen theatre experience that should be the staple of any home. The field of vision at this distance did not require me to move my head to watch a show or game and it was not hard on the eyes after an evening of viewing.

Internet Connectivity
The TV can connect to the internet with a Wi-Fi connection or wired ethernet. I would suggest you use a wired internet connection for a better TV experience as the Wi-Fi connection sometimes winks out while watching on home networks. Wired ethernet offers faster and more reliable transmission speeds. You may need to upgrade your Wi-Fi router too for it to connect to the TV.

Viewing Experience
Watching TV and movies on an 80” HD screen was just plain awesome. Watching sports made it feel like I was at the game and part of the action. The refresh rate though is slow in the LED model I looked at, resulting in blurring pucks while watching hockey.
 
Gaming
For gaming, my kids got to play with their Sony PS3 on the TV. An 80” TV is not as responsive as on smaller TV due to what is called the refresh rate of the screen. On a larger screen, the reaction time between the game controllers and the movement on the screen was not as good as it is with a smaller screen, say a 32”. This is a limitation of the LED screen technology.

Set-up
The Sharp Aquos Quattron Smart TV can be hooked up to pretty well any device you have that includes RGB, HDMI, ethernet, Wi-Fi and digital antennas, and is a plug-and-play set-up. The TV remote control was integrated with Netflix to make content surfing easier.

RATING - 4 out of 5

What is there not to like about an in-home theatre experience with an 80” screen that is soft on the eyes? It can be connected to an antenna, cable or the internet, so you can watch anything you want when you want. The refresh rate was a little too slow for me, but for movies the experience was superb. The chord cutting trend will only grow as people switch to internet plans that have reasonable bandwidth caps to accommodate internet TV viewing such as TekSavvy that charges $40 a month for 300G, which is more than enough for the average household.

To end on another note, I have some new responsibilities at Masthead. I am producing the COPAs this year (Canadian Online Publishing Awards) that will be held this November in Toronto. The entry deadline is July 19, 2013 (enter here) and I am looking for sponsorship support from the industry. Any help will be much appreciated. You can send me a note via email at copa@masthead.ca.
- Martin Seto
About Me
Martin Seto

 
Martin Seto is the principal of Reflex Media, a media consultancy practice offering media owners digital publishing, event management and ad sales help. His media expertise also include working with ad agencies as a media buyer/planner for tv, radio, print, outdoor, magazine and online. He has been in the advertising and media industry for 25+ years and he has been an instructor/speaker with Centennial College and at magazine conferences across Canada. He can be reached at marty(dot)seto(at)
reflexmediasales.com or 416-907-6562, and on LinkedIn.

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