TVs focus on energy savings and Yahoo integration at CES

According to an article posted by Reuters today, television giants at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week have focused their game of one-upmanship on improved energy savings and integration with the Internet this year, as the World comes to grips with a global recession.

Instead of trying to outshine each other by having the physically biggest screen, the likes of Sony, Samsung, LG and Panasonic showed off new, eco-friendly and energy saving high-definition TV screens that can pull content from the Internet.

Yahoo was a big part of this push, with the search company announcing a partnership with a number of technology companies, including Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, LG Electronics Inc, Sony Corp and Vizio, which will see the TVs support Yahoo's online service. The new televisions, which are expected in the spring, will also see the inclusion of "widgets" that will run beside, but not over, broadcast content.

The widgets will bring a variety of web based activites to peoples' living rooms, such as watching videos on YouTube, social networking on MySpace.com or messaging friends using Twitter. Yahoo said that the applications would allow viewers to interact more with the programs they are watching.

The inclusion of the Internet in TVs is something that has been tried before, but consumers have found such devices difficult to use.

Intel also played a big part in the push, which was originally announced last August, with the company's CE 3100 processor powering some of the Yahoo-enabled TVs. While Toshiba announced it would be using Intel's processor, a Yahoo spokesman said that Samsung, LG, Sony and Vizio had opted not to use the Intel chips in their TVs.

In the power-saving department, Samsung showed off it's one-inch thick "Luxia" high-definition televisions that use LEDs (light-emitting-diodes) as a primary light source, as opposed to cold cathode fluorescent lamps. Samsung said that the use of LEDs can reduce energy consumption by 40 percent over traditional LCD screens.

Samsung declined to specify how much TVs in the new Luxia line will cost, but said they would be more expensive than current LED TVs. The top of the line Luxia 8000, will feature a refresh rate of 240 hertz.

The South Korean company also unveiled the HMX-H106, a high-definition camcorder which will feature an internal 64GB solid state drive and what Samsung called the first wall-mountable Blu-ray disc player.

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