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Sensational TV revolution on cards

business Updated: Jan 10, 2010 21:30 IST
N Madhavan

Happy New Year! And welcome to a maddening revolution in television from this year: the TV is marrying the Internet, products are marrying services, software is marrying content and home viewing is marrying social media.

Expect a lot of offspring from this marriage of convergence and convenience. In various shapes, sizes and prices.

Things came to a head last week at the Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas. While much of the hype there was about 3D television, I think the real juice lies elsewhere in the way online video, software applications and social networking are blending with the good old TV set.

Last weekened, I watched a promo of Samsung’s upcoming LED TV. What stuck me was not its wall-mount screen, but that it will come pre-bundled with some content like children’s games. The Korean giant is not alone.

Between LG, Panasonic, Sony, Sharp,and less-known brands like Vizio, plenty of innovations are happening.

Panasonic has a service called VieraCast that offers Amazon Video on Demand, online video site YouTube and Bloomberg news.

LG offers YouTube and a streaming service for subscribers of video-rental service Netflix. Last week, Web communications
firm Skype said new high-definition televisions from Panasonic and LG will feature Skype voice and video calling.

Samsung is launching an online application store ( which should address both handphones and videos.

Sony is selling an Internet video box. Sharp offers traffic updates through a software widget. Vizio will sell Net-enabled TVs with a QWERTY keyboard. And India’s own Videocon has already started a DTH service with its own TV sets that have built-in set-top boxes.

Some day, you will tap a keyboard while watching TV when a tweet from the microblog service Twitter will flash on the screen from a cousin in the US, offering a Web link to a funny video. You will quickly download it and share your views on Facebook. But your service bills may rise!