The LG Electronics TVs, which have LG’s “NetCast Entertainment Access” feature, just hit stores like Best Buy. They include an Ethernet port leaving it to consumers to supply Internet service. Once plugged in, the TV can access a handful of online services, like Netflix.
Broadcom, which has been working with LG for three years, is supplying its BCM 3549 digital TV system on a chip for LG’s new “Broadband HDTVs.” The Irvine chipmaker’s specialty is processing high-quality video without too much effort by the machine’s other components. While the LG TVs were announced in January, Broadcom wanted to wait until TVs were available before announcing its partnership with the electronics company. Watch Broadcom’s video on YouTube HERE.
Internet TVs were big trends at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year. And, it seemed, every TV brand planned to offer its own version of a Web TV, including Toshiba, Sharp, Panasonic and Irvine’s Vizio. But don’t get too excited. An Internet TV doesn’t mean a user can actually access the Internet. Depending on the manufacturer, only certain online services are available to users.
In LG’s case, users will have access to specific online content, such as YouTube, NetFlix, Flickr and Yahoo! Widgets (to add Twitter, news feeds, etc.). The TVs can only “access Internet” via Yahoo! Widgets. Users won’t be able to sit on the couch and surf the plain, ol’ Internet. However, the Broadcom chip will also let the TV access video, photos and other files stored on PCs or other devices attached to the home computer network.
LG TVs with the Internet chip include the 47-inch 47LH50 LCD TV, priced at $2,100, and the 50-inch 50PS80 plasma TV, priced at $2,100. A 42-inch LCD (model 42LH50, for $1,700) and 60-inch plasma (model 60PS80 for $3,200) are expected to go on sale this summer.
Images courtesy of Broadcom.
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