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As high-definition TV-sets gain access to the Internet and transform themselves into more advanced entertainment centers, remote controls should acquire QWERTY input in order to provide a way for comfortable Web browsing, movie rentals and so on. The most convenient way to put QWERTY onto a TV remote is to install a touch-screen onto it, according to analysts.

“A QWERTY keypad is essential to allow users to more effectively and efficiently browse the web via their TV,” said Christopher Dodge, Analyst in the Strategy Analytics digital home observatory.

For TV keyboards, consumers want touch-screen controllers with a virtual keyboard, which also incorporate physical keys for common TV functions, as shown in the recent Strategy Analytics digital home observatory report, which evaluates aftermarket remote controls from Logitech, Hillcrest Labs, and Apple, which are designed to provide better TV experience. It is rather obvious that companies who make Internet-connected HDTVs will also have to install touch-screens onto their remotes and reconsider the role of those devices in general.

However, Strategy Analytics’ consumer evaluations found that most consumers are not yet ready to integrate their connected TV controller with other digital services. Based on this research, Strategy Analytics has identified several success factors for developers to provide the best user experience for a combined Web/TV controller.

“Touchscreen controllers are set to drive the connected TV experience. All participants indicated that they want an LCD/touch screen which would enable them to switch what is on the TV screen to the controller, as privacy was a concern for those who want to browse the web using TV,” said Kevin Nolan, an analyst with Strategy Analytics.

Tags: HDTV, Logitech, Hillcrest Labs

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