Wendy and I have been watching small screen TV for a long time. We have been talking about it since we moved in our new home in 2001. Interestingly enough, we are never too materialism to buy big TV, big car, or big nice bags. The current 29” TV worked pretty good for us for a long time. These days, we just started to think about it: isn’t it nice to have a bigger TV?
Story: My “Old” Car
Talking about my tendency to stay as low-cost as possible, I thought about my friend Elliot Ng’s kind joke about my 5-year old Fiat car:
In China, famous Chinese blogger Wang Jianshuo is definitely not poor. Why? He has a car. However, Wang Jianshuo is not rich either. Why? Just look at his car (yes, I’m just teasing him, he’s a down to earth kind of guy).
Yes. Look at my car – at the current price, it is still a little bit cheaper than a Shanghai car plate.
Back to the TV Story
Back to the TV story, Wendy and I feel that we should treat ourselves a little bit better after both of us working hard for 10 years. We deserve a little bit better TV, especially a 52” LCD TV set cost less than 10K RMB (1500 USD). We thought about 46” initially and found the price gap between 46” and 52” is not obvious. We went to Yongle Applicant Shopping Center in Cloud Nine Shopping Center at Zhongshan Park area, and placed the order. I am expecting the TV set to be delivered tomorrow.
Impressive Internet TV
We initially thought about Sony, but I just realized that in the home entertainment segment, big foreign brands like Sony, Panasonic, LG, and Samsung do not have too much competitive advantage. Actually, local brands offer much better price and functions.
I was a happy customer of Konka before, and this time, I choose TCL because their very impressive Internet TV.
TCL Internet TV – MiTV
I know this idea will raise many concerns from my readers, and my purchase of this TV set can be contraversial. The Internet TV actually has a P2P Movie Player embedded. You just need to plug the network cable into the back of the TV set, and you see a huge list – thousands of, if not tens of thousands of DVD titles. You click on the title, and it plays immediately. Most of the newly released TV are in HD format – very nice to a big screen.
The back-end engine is PPStream, a P2P network for people to see real time TV programs, and DVDs. Via PPS and its head-to-head competitor PPLive, you can basically watch anything that is digital – free. Let me show you a sample page. You can watch the 1600 American DVD titles.
Copyright? Well, Can We Change a Topic?
Yes. The content is pirated, or it is not licensed. This product raised many discussion and criticism within China also, and there are companies suing TCL for this product, but as of today, all the major TV manufactures in China is shipping this type of Internet TV (free HD DVD TV) and is 1/4 of all LCD TV Set. It is increasing at 300% per month according to some reports. Millions of Internet TV are sold out to families like us.
What is the impact of this wave of Internet TV to the TV set industry, to the movie industry, and to the culture of this country? We need to wait and see.
The Chinese Way
After seeing the impressive MP4 Player, the Internet TV impressed me again not just by “pirating DVDs”, but also by some nice technology.
When we checked out Sony Bravia TV with Internet cable, they offer a dream of all devices supporting DLNA protocol, so TV can talk with PC, and mobile phone, and it only support MPEG format.
The Chinese Internet TV does not take that “protocol” and “agreement” approach. They just can ready any share folder on the same hub, and play all kinds of possible media, from WMV(720P), MPEG2/4(720P), RMVB, H.264, WMV, MPEG1/2/4, RM, AVI, ASF, VOB, MKV, FLV, DIVX. They support all kinds of subtitle format like SUB, SRT,SMI. They support all type of audio format: MP3, OGG, WMA, WAV, and of cause almost all possible image format.
They of cause support USB stick, or hard disk via USB, and all kinds of interesting way of sharing storage in China.
It is just like the Chinese society: don’t rely on others – everything you just do it yourselves, and provide a great user experience.
I will write a thorough review when we get the TV set few days later.
What is your first impression of such product?
P.S. There are some screen shots in this news article.