Another new trend in the electronics industry is the merging of various technologies in many consumer products. This includes Blu-ray disc players with Netflix video streaming, and LCD and plasma TVs that can stream Netflix movies without the need for an external device. Several manufacturers here at the Consumer Electronics Show are demonstrating these devices, including LG and Samsung, while Panasonic is showing off Blu-ray players and plasma TVs with Amazon Video On-Demand support.
Sony Z-Series TVs feature Widgets
Widgets are also making an appearance on several manufacturers’ TVs, including Toshiba, Samsung, and Sony models. What the heck are widgets, you ask? In this case, they’re internet applications that deliver real-time information, including weather reports, stock ticker updates, financial news, Yahoo! Video, Flickr images, and other items of interest through Yahoo’s Widget Channel software for TVs and video devices.
“We do not see it as a niche offering in a few high-end models,” said Patrick Barry, vice president of Yahoo’s Connected TV initiative. “We see this as moving into the mainstream. In 2009 we’re going to see good penetration into the product lineups of the consumer electronics companies. Beginning in 2010, I think you’re going to see Internet-connected consumer electronics devices dominating the lineup.” —by Jon Abt (at CES) and Graham W.