TV Future Is Now: Netflix, Yahoo Widgets and User Presence Detection
Article by George Norman
On 21 Jan 2009
With technology moving forward at an increasing pace, devices are getting smaller and more powerful. While it is possible for computers and even the iPhone to perform the same task as a TV by simply accessing the web (I am talking about ChrisTV Online 3.10 for PCs and Ustream for the iPhone), the same could not be said about TVs – until now that is. The latest generation TV sets can and will connect to the Internet, and they do so for your enjoyment (and sometimes because you just need a Dominos pizza).

Netflix, the online service that allows you to rent DVDs, will now come as a standard feature in LG manufactured HDTVs. The devices which should be released onto the market this spring will be dubbed Broadband HDTVs and will feature Netflix streaming – it is rumored they will also be able to stream media content from YouTube and CinemaNow.


Reed Hastings, Netflix founder comments: “It's hugely symbolic. The Holy Grail has always been to give the TV an Internet jack in addition to the cable jack. It's an early glimpse of the long-term future.”

Samsung on the other hand decided to go another way and signed a partnership with Yahoo. Samsung’s line of HDTVs will feature something that is commonplace for computers, mainly Yahoo Widgets. This means that while you watch TV as you always do, you can also check out Yahoo news, finance, weather, and several other services.

Patrick Barry, Vice President, Connected TV, Yahoo! comments: “Yahoo! has combined key attributes of the Internet, including openness, community, and personalization, with the power of television. By creating this revolutionary new Internet experience, and combining our technology with the global distribution of major consumer electronics partners, we enable consumers to access the relevant information and content to enhance their television watching experience.”

Sony does one better, and takes the environment into consideration by releasing a new series of television sets which will be watching you. By that I mean the TV is capable of detecting whether you are watching it or you have gone to check on your child . Infrared sensors can tell if you are away, and since this means you are no longer watching TV, it will automatically power off. Sony says this feature will amount to a 40% power savings.

Tags: TV, HDTV, Netflix, Yahoo Widgets
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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