We have smartphones that do everything we want, thanks to Apple's original iPhone.
We have smartTVs that do... nothing much of we want. Especially for those outside the IP confines of the USA.
I'd've thought that a smartTV would be like a smartphone: install any available software you like, effortless interface, full array of communications, access any file supported by software. Turns out I was wrong.
I learned that after Christmas, when I bought a new Bluray DVD player for $99. It was pretty fabulous, what with the touch-sensitive front panel, WiFi access, smartTV, and Samsung's great styling. After a week, I swapped it with my son's three-year-old Bluray player, because the shiny new one lacked the input connectors I needed, and well, the smartTV was pretty dumb.
Also: who in their right minds likes pressing arrow keys to navigate around an on-screen keyboard?
I was floored at how limiting it was. SmartTV was limited to what Samsung felt like providing, and the selection was limiting in the extreme -- compared to what I was used to getting from the Internet just by hooking up a notebook computer to my digital projector and my 80" screen.
In the last week, the coin dropped in the slot. I understood why pundits were desperate for Apple to enter the TV business to shake it up, like it had with cell phones. Not that tv matters to me, since I am down to watching it once each two years for olympic coverage -- and this year I hope to watch it all online.