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Companies bringing apps into the living room

Posted 27 November 2009 01:47 CET by Randomus

On the eve of the busiest shopping day of the year, consumer electronics manufacturers are hoping a slightly rejuvenated economy will lead to an increase in consumer spending this year.

A popular, relatively new feature consumers are becoming more familiar with is the ability to use widgets offering Internet access directly through the TV.  It isn’t the first time there has been a push to blend the Web with the living room, but this is the first time a large group of manufacturers are interested in progression.

“This is a major transition happening with TVs,” said Matthew McRae, Vizio GM of the product group, told the San Francisco Chronicle in an interview.  “TVs have not moved from black and white to color and then to flat panel.  This is the next evolution, from a display that sits on the wall to a product you interact with.”

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Internet-enabled TVs have been available for quite some time now, but the past six months mark the first serious effort to offer unique content to TV viewers.  Aside from HDTV manufacturers and Internet software companies, TV broadcasters also are developing widgets and bonus information that can be utilized while someone watches TV.

Quick access to Internet content, weather, news, stock updates, YouTube, and similar widgets are already popular, and will continue to grow, analysts believe.  If consumers are more willing to purchase new HDTVs and products that have the ability to stream Internet content, 2010 could be the first significant year for content makers to begin pushing widgets directly to consumers.

By 2013, 13.8 million connected TVs will be in living rooms across the United States, a drastic increase from the estimated 900,000 connected TVs sold in 2009.

Are you interested in purchasing a TV or set-top box that can connect to the Internet?

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