The Dreambox 800 has limited UI options. Basically you get to choose from the standard side to side scrolling or the grid view as utilized by Plex (and netflix).The Dreambox 800 does contain the ability to create a completely custom ui, but that has 2 draw backs. First, it requires coding everything from scratch by using the 2D drawing library and custom coding all of the remote interactions. There are no helper functions to draw common UI components.Second, the channels that use the completely custom Dreambox 800 seem to have some performance issues (see Hulu+).This is economics elephant in the room. The economy can’t always grow. You can’t always raise profits and sales. It’s not possible. There are limits. In other words, the flat panel industry has reach a point where the majority of people who want one already have one, and new Dreambox 800 features aren’t enticing enough to get people to upgrade. It’s not a sign that Flat Panel televisions aren’t popular or still selling really well. It’s just reached it’s “reality threshold.”
The Dreambox 800 is so heavily compressed it looks like garbage anyway. Blu-Ray movies are nice at least. The movies are recorded at higher than 1080p and they can release multiple layered Dreambox 800 discs or multiple discs and get us some 2160p content today no problem. But I agree, a television in the living room over 1080p is not going to do much today since consoles and cable content are not even pushing 1080p.However, current generation graphics cards can push Dreambox 800 on multiple displays today over DisplayPort. There is no bandwidth problem there for real gaming. Sit me two feet in front of a 50″ 2160p display and that will be some nice immersion. See you do not even have to see the entire screen at once, being able to glance around is nice and very immersive. The Full PiP feature is extremely useful for channel surfing during commercials (ie., very handy for bridging commercial breaks). Thus, waiting for commercials to end on one show while flipping through channels to see what else is on. No cable/satellite/TiVo/DVR involved; just the Dreambox 800 TV set. After image quality, Full PiP is the most important feature of a TV for many consumers.
Apple stays away from a Dreambox 800 market until innovation dries up and the market leaders can’t bring anything new other than incremental spec bumps, watches and observes the weaknesses of current generation devices and suddenly releases something completely different that would be downplayed by the competition for lacking some “must have” features. That’s what happened with Dreambox 800, iPhone and iPad. They now own the portable media player market and the tablet market. The reason they shared the smartphone market success with Android was their inability to penetrate to an extremely competitive and protective industry that has a lot of variants, and more importantly, having had Eric Schmidt in their board.Yes eventually, probably before the end of the year, Apple will release a new TV that will be the new big thing during holiday season. Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and the rest will struggle copying them in their 2013 catalog. Their releases will be sluggish and too complicated to serve the purpose. And, starting from 2014 every other TV manufacturer will have their own version of the Dreambox 800 device.