Steve Jobs: No, to TV

Jay Yarow, Business Insider:

One person asked if Apple was going to release a television next. There were already rumors all over the place that it was Apple’s next conquest.

Yukari says “Jobs didn’t hesitate.” He said, “No.”

“TV is a terrible business. They don’t turn over and the margins suck,” said Jobs.

This is an excerpt of Yukari Iwatani Kane’s Haunted Empire, which hasn’t garnered a lot of fans. Here’s what Jason Snell thinks about the book:

Apple after the death of Steve Jobs would be a fascinating topic for a book. This isn’t the book. Haunted Empire can’t get out of the way of its own Apple-is-doomed narrative to tell that story.

Back to TV. In my opinion the best TV is the dumbest TV. Dumb as in not smart, like the smart TVs we have now. What the TV should be smart about is to be smart about solving this challenging problem: what should it do to portray video information on the display so human beings can enjoy the experience of viewing that video information. That’s it.

Sounds like a simple problem, but it’s extremely difficult. For instance, let’s take a LCD TV located in an environment that has these three things happening: light coming in from the outside, incandescent lights to the left and right, and the viewer is off to the side. The TV needs to know how to manipulate each red, green, and blue primary colors to compensate for the net effect of the two external light color temperatures and the fact that the viewer is looking at the TV from an off angle. Instead of adding dumb smarts to TVs, this is the kind of smarts TVs, and we, really want. (By the way, B&O solved the problem of off-axis viewing by mechanically turning the TV toward the viewer.)