Smart-TV Features Scored for a Busy Product Manager

For second time in about a year I am buying a TV. This time I am looking to add a smallish TV to my home office (hurrah for social isolation and yay for more screen time) and like last time I am worried that smart TV vendor, and by some I mean all, are not quite aware of the things we middle of the road consumers want in a smart-TV.

Nowadays it is pretty hard to buy TV without smarts. In optimal world I would be able to buy a TV with 8 HDMI connections and a decent speakers with very fast but limited SW. Sadly, I have a feeling we are not living in the best of the possible timelines.

Secondly, I wish all Smart TV vendors understood these:

  • Don’t try too hard: even the smartest smart TV is the dumbest smart device in my house
  • All features you put in need to last as long as the panel. Taking away Netflix app away from us because Netflix doesn’t want to support your 2014 app platform is even worse than not having the app in the first place
  • Fast is better than slow 100% time (lack of speed is an universal problem with SW in 2020 but we can visit this some other day)
  • You are neither Apple nor Google. Stick to your strengths. Writing app platforms is not one of them

Now with these principles in mind, let us score the most important features for you my dear smart TV product manager:

  • Every HDMI port +1000 points
  • Built-in Chromecast support +500 points
  • Built-in Airplay support +500 points
  • Any other *cast support +100 points
  • App platform +1 points
  • App platform that is not supported through the expected lifetime of the TV panel: -100 points
  • Every other feature that make the basic TV operations slower: -10 points per feature
  • Every second spend on SW updates instead of using the TV: -10 points per second
  • Every ad I see in the User Interface: -100 points
  • Every confirmation dialog: -100 points. TV has very few destructive operations it should have even fewer confirmation dialogs
  • Every password dialog, no points, making people type in passwords with a TV remote is a sackable offence
  • Remote I can use in a dark room: + 100 points

Thank you for listening, I will be waiting for that 8 HDMI port TV with a decent panel and acceptable speakers in your 2021 product lineup.