My friend and fellow Engadget columnist Jeremy Toeman takes HP to task for promoting “HDTV 2.0,” a marketing sobriquet for the notion of a television connected… to home networks and the Internet at least. What does this have to do with “HD”? Not much, except that the higher resolution makes it easier to display text and the more generally available digital inputs facilitate the attachment of computing devices. (Tracing the tortured history of digital television in the U.S. through Grand Alliance days, it looks like Microsoft in retrospect won the war over progressive scan.)
Does having another marketing term such as “HDTV 2.0” add to the confusion? Yes. Does “full HD”? Yes. How about contrast ratios and refresh rates and three different microdisplay technologies? In terms of impact, HP will be lucky if the notion of connected television becomes important enough in consumers’ minds to raise any fear, uncertainty or doubt. This is particularly true for tasks other than receiving on-demand video over IP, where the goal is to emulate the familiar, evolving mainstream cable experience. But HP is still free to compete in the marketplace of ideas. The TV, so often a big piece of passive glass for which intelligence extends only to image processing, has a timely opportunity to play a larger role in the home network as consumers seek to minimize the clutter of the home theater.