At the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Thursday, Jan. 8, several television manufacturers announced that some of their models will show video from Internet streaming services. Two other new features were shown for the top-tier TV models: improved handling of fast-moving scenes and a reduction of power use.
LG Electronics Inc. and Vizio Corp. will provide streaming video from Netflix Inc., while Panasonic Corp. and Sony Corp. TVs will show videos from Amazon.com Inc.’s Unbox service.
Sony, LG, Toshiba Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. have decided upon Yahoo Inc. as their provider of Internet services like Flickr photos, YouTube videos and news stories through what they call a ‘widget engine’.
Most manufacturers will be implementing more frames per second on TV sets, from 120 to 240, giving sharper images and smoother action. Also this year, 3-D will come into the spotlight with more 3-D delivery systems. Most TV sets already have 3-D capabilities, but commercial products are yet to be seen in quantity.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in November, introduced harsh limits for the power use of switched-on TVs. Manufacturers have complied with the new limits in an attempt to be recognized as the most energy-efficient 25 percent of a product category.
The question is whether consumers in a weak economy will be drawn towards these frilly features. TV makers say yes, but don’t reveal how much these models will cost.