Philips' explain their Smart TV possibilities. Or not.

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Published on - Listed in Internet Personal Rant

I was recently on the Philips website and saw them advertising their new LED LCD televisions with Smart TV. I got aware that, depending on the model, it was sometimes called Smart TV and sometimes Smart TV plus. Emm.. that's actually quite confusing and I looked for a comparison sheet, but couldn't find one.

So I contacted Philips' customer service and asked them about the difference of Smart TV and Smart TV. Furthermore I wanted to know if Smart TV has a web-browser included which is able to play online streams (flash or html5). This is what I got as an answer (translated from German into English):

Models with Smart TV or Smart TV Entry (as 42PFL3507H/12) only contain the Youtube app. Other apps are not usable.
Devices with Smart TV Plus offer the whole diversity of Smart TV apps. The devices with Smart TV Premium offer, besides the access to all Smart TV Apps, the WiFi Smart Screen Function. This allows to export the TV display to an Apple Smart device.

With Smart TV Plus and Smart TV Premium you can only watch the contents of Net TV Apps or content of the public Internet, which are not using any plugins. On the device there is no disk space for installations as plugins like Flash Player, PDF, Silverlight or a Movie Player.

In Net TV you already find some content, which were optimized for the access by a television. As an example you can access media libraries of ARD, ZDF, MDR, Radio Bremen and Arte, or Youtube or you can watch the Video on Demand service Videociety and Viewster.

We only provide the Net TV Portal. We publish specifications how to bulid Net TV Apps, so you can use them on our tv devices.

Note: I was kind... my English translation is actually much more understandable than the original answer in German.

Instead of getting a simple answer in plain English, I got back a letter full of marketing/product terms. In my job as Systems Engineer I am used to a lot of different terms, commands, licensing models, etc. But what I, a customer, want for my television is just simplicity. Is that too much to ask?

Sorry Philips. But this keeps me away from buying your product.
I'm sure, Apple will release a TV device some time. They will probably even offer exactly the same as other TV vendors but with one simple difference: One name. iTV. Not 15 product names where you have to watch out that product 1 matches product C, so that you are able to watch product 4E.

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