Smart TVs have been talked about for years. Two years ago I was at the Consumer Electronics Show where it was the latest and greatest home entertainment device being showcased. Look at how many apps you can have on your TV! You can read emails on a 50 inch HDTV. Don’t you want to post to Twitter on your flat screen? Not really. That’s what my phone or tablet is for.

While the idea of TVs being smart sounds revolutionary, the future of your home’s TV situation is actually going to be the exact opposite. The next TV you buy will be dumb. Really dumb.

Look at the back of your home’s TV or inside the cabinet or stand it sits on and count the number of ports it has and devices connected to it. Look at how many remotes you have or how many buttons are on that universal remote. Chances are it’s a bit overwhelming and the last thing you want is more options on your remote. While in the past the idea of adding more devices to your home’s TV was desirable, there’s a shift taking place to simplify the home entertainment experience while also making it better.

The next time you hear talk about Smart TVs, ignore it.

That device in your pocket or purse is the only remote your home needs. Think about it. It’s way easier to type on your smartphone than using a TV remote to search for a show. It’s also simpler to navigate menus, switch between apps and just simpler to use than your home’s HDTV menu and remote. When are phones are getting infinitely smarter do we really need our TVs to be smart too? Not really. What we need is for our TVs to talk to our phones. That’s it.

Think about how GPS devices have changed with our cars. At first we bought stand alone units, like a Garmin, that we would plop on our dashboard and use it’s built-in options to find the best route to our destination. Then car manufacturers thought it would just be easier, and more profitable for them, if they just installed navigation units into the cars dashboard. Which then gave us an even more complex system of menus. But today, isn’t it just faster, easier and simpler to use your phone’s mapping app to find directions rather than using a clumsy quasi-mouse on your car’s dashboard?

That’s what is happening inside our homes. We will soon see a trend to moving from less add-on devices towards “dummy” screens that talk to our phones. I don’t need additional software on the TV in my family room. I just need it to be able to talk to my iPhone so that I can show photos on it or watch a YouTube video or maybe even just replicate the screen of my iPad.

Because I have Verizon FiOS and its corresponding app for my smartphone, I can make my phone my remote control plus navigate the TV menus, schedule recordings on my DVR and even order on-demand movies all from my phone.

The next time you hear talk about Smart TVs, ignore it. We don’t need smarter TVs. Our homes need TVs that can simply talk to our other devices. I know my wife can’t for the day when she doesn’t have to deal with that universal remote, but simply just open an app and be on her way. Or maybe, just talk to the TV through her phone to issue a command?

Dummy screens. I’m telling you, it’s a genius concept.


Image courtesy of Flickr user inkiboo