In an effort to stay ahead of the game, TV manufacturers such as LG and Toshiba are integrating fun new features such as touch screens and built-in cameras that are commonly found on tablets and smartphones but not TVs.
LG is launching a new series of TVs under the banner of "PenTouch TV" which will let viewers interact with the device using a special touch-sensitive stylus pen.
"Touch displays have become the norm in mobile phones and tablets, but remain almost unheard of in TVs," said Jay Vandenbree, senior vice president, home entertainment, LG Electronics USA. "The PenTouch TV brings all the excitement of touch displays, computers and the Internet to the world of television, with functions and programs that are great fun and really educational. Families, in particular, will have more than ever to enjoy on LG PenTouch TV plasma screens."
Toshiba’s new Regza WL800A TV range has been designed by Jacob Jensen and comes with a camera embedded into the TV. With a built-in camera, the TVs can recognize faces and remember people’s individual viewing preferences.
"Personal TV Auto Face Recognition can store up to four different viewers' settings and automatically deliver their personal pre-sets, including picture settings, volume preference and channel lists to each viewer," said Rob Wilkinson, general manager, Information Systems Division, Toshiba Australia.
Expect to see a whole new range of trendsetting, feature-rich TVs at this year’s IFA. LG has already indicated that it will be pushing the boundaries of Plasma TVs in "new and exciting directions" during this year’s event, and Toshiba is rumored to be showcasing a glasses-free 55" autostereoscopic 3D TV at IFA.
IFA is the world's largest consumer electronics and electrical home appliances fair. It will take place in Berlin, Germany from September 2 to 7.
The Regza WL800A will be available in Australia in early September from AU$3,179 ($3,330, €2300) for the 55" model.
The 3D-capable 60" LG PenTouch 60PZ850 TV will be priced at $2,199 and is available now in the US.