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Say hello to Smart TV

The Smart TV concept aims to transform small screen viewing, according to Intel. With TVs, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes rapidly adding wired or wireless internet connectivity to their features, a host of companies are tailoring and integrating web-based content for living room entertainment.

Intel says its chips and software will enable not just internet video streaming but could also allow cable operators to turn set-top boxes into video game consoles with games served over the connection.

Grid-style TV guides will be replaced by interfaces blending broadcast TV with internet content.
Samsung, Sony, LG, Vizio, Sharp and Panasonic are all releasing internet-enabled TVs this year with features such as Skype video calls, Netflix movie streaming and on-screen widgets that offer news, weather, financial quotes, social networking and internet radio.

Until now, Internet-connected TV devices typically offered single-function features, such as streaming movies from your favorite providers. New smart TV devices enable users to interact with their TVs like never before, seamlessly integrating a broad array of Internet content, broadcast programming, personal content, and virtually unlimited applications—all viewable on one TV screen.

Apple has yet to mount a serious challenge. Its Apple TV box allows users to buy and rent movies from its iTunes store to play on their TVs. But apart from YouTube videos and Flickr photos, its access to the wider web is limited.

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