FIHT: 'Net is about TV, says Philips exec

In the near future, a large percentage of consumers will increasingly opt to connect to the Internet using an access device other than a PC, and more likely than not, this device will be a television of some kind, says Roel Pieper, executive vice president of Philips Electronics. Ahough PCs are getting easier to use, many people will still choose to go online using an electronics device instead of a PC, Pieper says, because 'many consumers are afraid of the PC'

In the near future, a large percentage of consumers will increasingly opt to connect to the Internet using an access device other than a PC, and more likely than not, this device will be a television of some kind, said Roel Pieper, executive vice president of Philips Electronics, in a keynote speech here today.

In the home of the future, consumer electronics devices, such as TVs, phones and video players, will all be connected together via a network and to the Internet, said Pieper, who was speaking at the Forum de l'Information et de la Haute Technologie (FIHT) this morning. Though PCs are getting easier to use, many people will still choose to access online content using an electronics device instead of a PC, Pieper said.

"Many consumers are afraid of the PC," he said. For at least for the next 10-15 years, a large percentage of people will want to access the Internet using a "yes-no" type of device that is as easy to operate as a TV, Pieper said. Computers are getting easier to use, but TV is still the dominant way that people get information in their homes, he pointed out. In the U.S., people are watching the equivalent of 3.6 billion [B] hours of TV a month, but spending just a 10th of that time online, he said.

The TVs of the future will offer interactive services, Internet content and personalized programming to viewers, Pieper said. In the next three years, consumers will see a blending of Internet and TV content and TVs will become portals for content providers in the same way that Web sites are today, he said.

"Computers come from the business world," Pieper said. Most consumers want easy access to information in a more simple way than a computer can offer, he said. Consumer electronics companies, while admittedly a bit behind in the Internet, are working hard to come up with low-cost, easy-to-use devices that can be used to connect to the Internet, Pieper said.

Philips, in Eindhoven, Netherlands, can be reached at +31-40-79-11-11 or at http://www.philips.com/.

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