High definition TV and blue-ray players get onboard the wired bandwagon
These days, the list of devices able to connect to the internet is getting longer. While TVs have long been able to connect to the Web, a new generation of HDTVs and DVD players are taking advantage of web sites that provide high bandwidth services such as Amazon Video and YouTube. Consumer electronics and web connectivity is an exciting development but will never be bigger than the day when TVs took the obvious step to be Internet capable. What differentiates modern devices now is that they are able to consume a wider variety of web services that were only available recently because of the penetration of cheap broadband internet such as that provided by DSL.
Major brands such as Sony, LG, Samsung and Pioneer are retrofitting their popular models for interactive, video-on-demand connectivity. Even applications that obviously require a computer to work are finding their way into consumer electronics.
By way of user interface widgets, HDTVs are able to present web content once thought to belong exclusively to computers. Sony is utilizing Bravia Widgets to display interactive content such stocks, weather, and Twitter. Aside from the features mentioned, Bravia is also able to play Amazon movies on demand, Slacker radio, and YouTube. Samsung’s Internet@TV uses Yahoo widgets to display web content originating from sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Rallycast fantasy sports.
Pioneer is developing a platform called ProjectET. By using the project’s web portal, users are able to select content and services by clicking on buttons found on ProjectET’s web page. Electronic devices running ProjectET are capable of showing video-on-demand as well as data backup.
A demo blue-ray dvd player featuring one terabyte of hard disk storage was displayed by Pioneer and it was running a prototype version of ProjectET. The platform will find its way to other devices such as set-top boxes and other networkable consumer electronics.