Washington: South Korea’s LG Electronics announced plans on Monday to market a broadband-enabled high-definition TV in the latest bid to build a bridge between the Internet and the television set.
LG and online movie rental giant Netflix said the “Broadband HDTVs” to go on sale this spring would have Netflix streaming software embedded in the TV, allowing users to stream movies directly from Netflix with no external device.
“This is an LG industry-first, which provides another flexible option for consumers seeking to access exciting content directly through their HDTV,” LG Electronics USA president Teddy Hwang said.
LG and Netflix said in a joint statement that the plasma and liquid-crystal display (LCD) Broadband HDTVs will be on display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) being held in Las Vegas this week.
Internet-enabled TVs are expected to be a highlight at this year’s edition of the annual electronics show as television manufacturers seek to give viewers access to the increasing amounts of video available on the Web.
The LG HDTV will not allow users to surf the Internet through their TV set but it does away with the need for a set-top box, video-game console or other device to access shows online from Netflix.
Last year, LG and Netflix introduced a Blu-ray disc player that can stream movies directly from Netflix and Netflix has offered streaming capability to personal computers for two years.
LG and Netflix said the new LG HDTVs will use a broadband connection and Queue-based user interface to stream content.
“Netflix members will use the Netflix Web site to add movies and TV episodes to their individual instant Queues,” the statement said, adding that selections will begin to play in as little as 30 seconds.
Viewers use the TV remote control to make their selections and can fast-forward and rewind the video.
LG did not say how much the new Broadband HDTVs would cost.
Netflix, which has more than eight million subscribers, started out by delivering DVDs of movies in the mail but has moved increasingly to streaming content directly over the Web to televisions or PCs.