In a notable paradigm shift, the conventional smart home hub may soon find an unexpected replacement in the form of our trusty television sets. The idea of Smart TVs serving as the central hub for home automation has gained traction, with industry leaders like Google and Samsung exploring this transformative concept.

Google TV executive, Rob Caruso, asserts that the TV’s evolution into a smart hub is not only inevitable but closer than anticipated. Caruso envisions a future where TVs, positioned at the heart of our living spaces, go beyond entertainment gateways to control the entire home environment.

The integration of smart home functionality onto TVs is poised to streamline the user experience. Rather than relying on standalone smart devices, users can leverage the built-in speakers and smart platforms of modern TVs, such as Google TV, to replace traditional smart home hubs.

The 2024 TV lineup from Samsung, powered by the NQ8 AI Gen3 processor, heralds what the company dubs the “AI screen era.” This advancement, while primarily focusing on picture upgrades and personalization, extends into smart home functionalities, transcending the limitations of conventional smart home hubs.

Google TV’s user-friendly software has gained widespread acclaim, prompting companies like Hisense, TCL, and Sony to shift from Roku to Google TV. The seamless setup process and integration with various streaming services, along with potential expansion to smart home controls and apps, make Google TV a promising catalyst for this transformation.

CES 2024 witnessed LG and Samsung unveiling enhanced smart hub functionalities for their TVs. LG integrates Google Home’s smart hub platform, offering streamlined Matter controls for improved smart home interactions. Samsung, on the other hand, leverages its SmartThings hub software, incorporating Matter connectivity into its TV Quick Panel for efficient device management.

Despite these advancements, challenges persist. Google Home, while promising, faces software issues, as some users report connectivity problems with Google Assistant. Hardware concerns, particularly power consumption, also arise, as continuous TV operation is necessary for optimal smart home hub functionality.

Privacy remains a critical concern, with potential camera and voice assistant integrations posing risks. Past incidents, like Vizio TVs spying on users, underscore the need for heightened privacy measures.

In conclusion, while the integration of smart home hubs into TVs presents an exciting future, the concept requires refinement. Addressing privacy issues, enhancing software stability, and optimizing hardware capabilities are essential for the seamless adoption of TVs as the central smart home hub. Until then, relying on dedicated smart home hubs may be a more practical choice for consumers.

By Impact Lab