Samsung AV product manager Chris Moseley, talking to UK gadget review site Pocket-lint, about the possibility of an Apple television and what it might mean competitively:
“TVs are ultimately about picture quality. Ultimately. How smart they are … great, but let’s face it that’s a secondary consideration. The ultimate is about picture quality and there is no way that anyone, new or old, can come along this year or next year and beat us on picture quality.
“So, from that perspective, it’s not a great concern but it remains to be seen what they’re going to come out with, if anything.”
Obviously, Moseley’s talking about one strength of Samsung’s products — an area in which he thinks his company is particularly competitive among television manufacturers.
Still. This makes me chuckle a little because I have relatives who have bought 42-inch-plus flat panel HD sets … and then have declined to upgrade their cable TV package to HD.
For them, picture quality? Not so big a deal.
But they will complain to no end about how confusing those TVs are to use and set up, with their baffling, incompatible remotes and byzantine settings menus. And that’s before you plug in a STB and are confronted with the programming guide provided by your cable or satellite content provider.
(And it’s to say nothing of the rat’s nest of wires you’ll have once you add a DVD or Blu-ray player, maybe a receiver and some speakers.)
This isn’t to say that Apple’s TV could compete only on a user experience/user interface basis. They know a thing or two about high-quality, flat-panel displays of many sizes.
Nor is it to say that Samsung doesn’t make jaw-dropping displays built on deep experience and patented technologies Apple doesn’t possess.
But it is to say (and I bet Moseley might agree) that it’s not all about picture quality. Indeed, for some people, the question is, “How much more picture quality do I really need?”
There’s much more to the television experience than that, and lots of room for improvement.