Web-ifying the TV
LAS VEGAS--For all the people who like to watch television with a laptop open on the coffee table [raises hand], your next TV set may be waiting on the show floor here. A few different manufacturers are demonstrating sets that can link to a home network and display Web content.
Yesterday, I looked at Sony sets that accept a "Bravia Internet Link" add-on to download and play videos from a variety of sites, plus a Panasonic set that doubles as a YouTube browser. Some Samsung LCD and plasma sets, due in the spring, include RSS readers that display news feeds from (ahem) USA Today.
And today I checked out a Sharp set featuring what the company calls "Aquos Link"--a wired network connection that puts simple Web widgets on this LCD's screen. Sharp marketing vice president Bob Scaglione suggested that users could do their morning Web data consumption on the big screen this way, checking the weather forecast with the set's Weatherbug widget, then pulling up a Traffic.com map showing the congestion on their commute.
Scaglione also said this Internet connection could be helpful when people had trouble with their TVs -- they could let tech support log on to the TV and adjust settings for them. Somehow, the need for that last feature leaves me feeling a little discouraged.
You'll also pay quite a bit for Aquos Net. The "Special Edition" line of LCD TVs with this feature starts at $3,199.99 for a 46-inch model.
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