One company that had plenty to say was Netflix. By delivering access to 130 new countries on the show's second day, it showed why it's such a great friend to this rollout of new TV and home theater tech, and also a foe. Now that Netflix is in nearly every country, when TV makers add a feature like 4K or HDR, with a flip of a switch Netflix can supply content that's optimized for it. The only problem? Netflix doesn't just stop at the TV screen. It will stream to your computer, your tablet or your phone just as well. Want to launch a movie on your phone, then cast it to the TV without ever touching the remote? Netflix has your back, and it doesn't care which screen you're watching on.
The looming question is why TVs must have Netflix or any app built-in. From webOS to Tizen to Roku to Android TV to Firefox OS, none of the embedded smart TV setups showed much that demanded picking one over the other. For years, people have asked for a "dumb" screen with all the high-end picture quality and processing, but nothing else. No apps, no operating system, no UI-changing updates after 6-, 12- or 18-months, no invasive advertising programs and no confusingly designed remote controls. That's how TVs used to work, and there's no reason why they couldn't again.
I don't think TVs would get any cheaper for dropping these items, but in the eyes of many they would be better. Sooner or later, some company will need to do something different to create space from the competition, and that's one thing customers are actually asking for. Whatever's next, TV makers should figure it out before we're all watching simulated 100-inch screens in our VR headsets.
[Image credit: (top) DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images]