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No, that's not what happens at all. Are you living under a rock? Every CEO and his brother wants to talk about "value-adds" via custom software and branded interfaces.

No one would argue that signal processing and the stuff traditionally known as "firmware" has a valid purpose. It's the stuff that arises when an executive get a boner for a "product vision" that people don't want or need. It's the kind of trash that looks alluring on a list of bullet points, but gets turned over every 24 months because it's utterly void of any substance, and only got produced at the whims of some empty suit trying to prove his worth.

I agree; what I described is an early stage that we have left far behind. Your description is way more accurate for where we are now. And that isn't limited to firmware; I think 3D TV sets with shutter glasses fall in the same category (everybody wants 3D, but that technology simply isn't convenient enough for home use)

I also think that t.v. manufacturers _must_ try to improve their offering with features not directly related to image or audio quality; there is no margin in plain television sets and too few get sold (one every 4-5 years per family vs one smartphone every two years or so per person). Problem is not that they try, but that they don't succeed. In that sense, there is an opportunity for someone with an Apple-like approach to enter the market.

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