UK's web infrastructure 'will limit' widget TVs

Digital Britain broadband pledge not enough
Digital Britain broadband pledge not enough

Web-integrated TV sets took a step in the right direction today, with the announcement that ARM processors have been chosen by LG to power its next batch of internet-connected TVs.

Unfortunately for consumers, it looks like the UK's web infrastructure may limit the potential of widget televisions.

Speaking to TechRadar, Jim Wallace, in charge of Home Segment Marketing at ARM, gave his thoughts on last week's 'broadband for all' pledge from the government's Digital Britain report.

"I would like more [than 2Mbps], as that rate will limit the experience for watching HD content on the web. This type of speed limits what you can actually do," he explained.

More speed, better experience

Ideally, Wallace told us, broadband speeds should be around five times higher than the government's pledge for consumers to get the best from their widget TVs.

"The ARM technology demands as much as possible," says Wallace.

"The more speed you can get, the better experience you will have. So, something like 10Mbps would be the ideal speed for [these] TVs, but the more the merrier."

It's not just about connectivity, however, content will be the key for web-connected TVs to hit the mainstream.

Wallace explains: "I was just in Canada last week and the rate of connected TVs in households is growing dramatically. This is obviously great, but it is the content that really matters."

He continues: "Video on demand technology has been around for a while on cable boxes. So the technology for this is already here and consumers are aware of that. But this notion of watching what you want when you want is only going to get better, with things like linking to YouTube, where you can choose exactly what to watch, is going to be key."

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.