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Displays Television Entertainment Linux

Linux-Friendly, Internet-Enabled HDTVs? 277

Posted by timothy
from the for-the-well-equipped-hermit-cave dept.
mrchaotica writes "I'm in the market for a new HDTV (in the $1200-or-slightly-more range, as I won the extended-service-plan lottery and have a Sears store credit). Several of the TVs I've looked at have various 'Internet TV' features (here are Samsung's and Panasonic's). Some manufacturers appear to be rolling their own, while others are partnering with Yahoo (maybe in an attempt to create a 'standard?'). Moreover, these TVs also tend to run Linux under the hood (although their GPL compliance, such as in Panasonic's case, may leave something to be desired). Finally, it's easy to imagine these TVs being able to support video streaming services (YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, etc.) without a set-top box, but I don't know the extent to which that support actually exists. Here are my questions: 1) Is this 'Internet TV' thing going to be a big deal going forward, or just a gimmick? 2) Which manufacturers are most [open standard|Linux|hacker]-friendly? 3) Which TV models have the best support (or best potential and community backing) for this sort of thing?"
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Linux-Friendly, Internet-Enabled HDTVs?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 08, 2009 @06:00PM (#28998745)

    The quality would be so bad at that size, would you even want to watch?

    • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Saturday August 08, 2009 @06:12PM (#28998833) Homepage

      I can tell you from experience, using YouTube on my TiVo, that can really be the case. Good looking videos look like SD content. Bad looking videos look like nothing but JPEG artifacts.

      I haven't tried any YouTube HD videos, but they should look great.

      It's so hard to find any non-throwaway content on YouTube, that I haven't found the feature very useful.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by luder (923306) *

        Bad looking videos look like nothing but JPEG artifacts.

        True.

        I tried it in HD, they look ok, but worse than a good divx dvdrip. The biggest problem for me is the slowness of full-screen playback, when playing on full HD resolution (1080p). It totally sucks! To avoid that, I have to stream the video with the help of a video player with FLV support, like VLC or SMPlayer. Too much of a hassle, for me...

        • by MBCook (132727)

          I can't say that surprises me. I'm watching "Tesla: Master of Lighting" through YouTube on my TiVo right now, but it looks like a slightly over-compressed Digital Cable channel. No slowdown or other problems, it works fine.

          The box wasn't really designed for this, they added the feature 2+ years after release. I'm not really surprised that it has trouble displaying HD video that's not in it's ideal format.

          It may just be the software. The Netflix integration works perfectly, even in HD.

    • The quality would be so bad at that size, would you even want to watch?

      Yes. I regularly do. The quality is quite acceptable. Not HD obviously, but does anybody really expect it to be?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Simon80 (874052)
      This isn't really insightful so much as misinformed. I recently found the DownloadHelper extension for Firefox, which makes it easy to grab flash videos from websites in general. Using it reveals that when applicable, youtube actually provides medium quality 1280*720 video using the H.264 codec. I've only seen one video that is provided in this format - the bitrate for that one is around 240kbps, based on the file size minus the size of the audio data.
  • by ClosedSource (238333) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @06:02PM (#28998759)

    First it was the TV and the Computer. Now it's the TV, Computer and/or the Internet. Convergence doesn't actually happen - they just keep adding items to it.

  • by XanC (644172) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @06:06PM (#28998785)

    Is there such a thing as a TV that can run mythfrontend? That would be sweet beyond words.

  • Netflix (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Saturday August 08, 2009 @06:09PM (#28998807) Homepage

    I know Sony makes at least a couple of TVs that use Linux to run the OSDs. That said, I doubt you'll find any manufacturers willing to let you put new software on the TV. Your best bet there is probably some 3rd party box (can you replace the kernel on a RoKu?).

    In non-hackability, my TiVo lets me watch YouTube and Netflix as well as some other things, I it probably is the future of TV. YouTube is... gimmicky. It's YouTube, so mostly little videos. There are some documentaries and other things worth watching, but not a lot.

    Being able to watch Netflix stuff is fantastic, and looks better than DVD since much of it is real HD. The content isn't there yet (it's rather limited, especially with new releases) but it's very nice. The biggest problem is that you have to have a "queue" which you update on your computers, so you can't add new movies from your TV. This is fixable, but that's how it operates now. I really love using it, it works very well.

    I would love to have Netflix on my TV if I didn't have my TiVo to do the job. My TiVo also supports Amazon Unbox which I don't use (due to prices, where I already pay for NetFlix). There are some other video casts available for free on my TiVo (like David Pogue's from the NYT), and they recently added support to automatically get video from an RSS feed if it's in the right format.

    This kind of video on demand seems to be the future to me. I already use recording on my TiVo sort of like VOD (since I can watch what I want when I want). These things seem like clear winners to me.

    As for widgets, they seem of limited use. Pressing a button to call up a little weather forecast would be OK. Maybe having a little baseball diamond/score block up while I'm watching some other channel would be good. I used to like it when I had a set-top box that would display caller ID info.

    Mostly though, widgets seem like a "but we're more than a generic TV" thing, trying to turn a commodity (an LCD panel in a case) into something more. My guess is that mostly no one will care soon.

    If you want these features, you can use your TV if it supports them. But you can use a RoKu box to do the same thing, for only $100. Many higher end DVD/Blu-Ray players are starting to offer some of these features. TiVos support them. The XBox 360 supports them.

    Basically, you don't need to get them in your TV. Every other box under the sun will soon have them. I wouldn't use this as a deciding factor.

  • Save your money (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grub (11606) * <slashdot@grub.net> on Saturday August 08, 2009 @06:10PM (#28998819) Homepage Journal

    Save your money on subscriptions.

    Just get a no-frills (but decent) HDTV then pick up a PopcornHour Network Media Tank [popcornhour.com]. Plays xvid, DVD ISO, x.264, etc up to 1080p.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by tepples (727027)
      That, or buy a TV and a PC. Two things a media center PC can do that a net-TV or a Popcorn Hour box can't:
      • Play indie games and other PC games.
      • View web pages other than the widgets that the TV manufacturer approves. This way you can manage your Netflix queue.
      • by tomhudson (43916)
        So get a Wii, spend 500 Wii points ($5) for Opera for the Wii, and surf the net, manage your netflix queue, play games, and watch YouTube on your TV w/o having the cost and power consumption of a PC.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MooUK (905450)

          The only issue with the "a console is cheaper than a PC, buy it instead" is that most of the time, you still want a PC - so it becomes "buy it as well".

        • by tepples (727027)

          So get a Wii, spend 500 Wii points ($5) for Opera for the Wii, and surf the net

          I tried that for a while. I gave up when the net became a mess of "Upgrade to Flash Player 9" and 30-second Slashdot homepage loads. And you still need a PC to run Privoxy because Internet Channel doesn't have Adblock/Noscript/Flashblock unlike Firefox for Windows or Linux.

          manage your netflix queue, play games

          Did you mean only JavaScript games and Flash 7 games?

          and watch YouTube on your TV

          I tried that. The HQ button doesn't show up on a Wii, and I haven't been able to get full screen to work either (but it was a few months ago).

          • by nedlohs (1335013)

            Did you mean only JavaScript games and Flash 7 games?

            Yes, because the wii being a "video game console" doesn't have any games on it other than those on the damn web browser.

            • by tepples (727027)

              Play indie games and other PC games.

              spend 500 Wii points ($5) for Opera for the Wii

              Did you mean only JavaScript games and Flash 7 games?

              Yes, because the wii being a "video game console" doesn't have any games on it other than those on the damn web browser.

              Due to Nintendo's blanket policies against micro-ISVs [warioworld.com], every Wii game not published by a major label has the overhead of JavaScript or Flash 7. PC games, on the other hand, can have more performance because they run as native code.

              • by nedlohs (1335013)

                Strange, my home brew channel works just fine on my wii.

          • by tomhudson (43916)

            manage your netflix queue, play games

            Did you mean only JavaScript games and Flash 7 games?

            Somehow, I think the thousands of dollars I've spent on Wii games since February wasn't for stuff kludged together from javascript and flash 7 ...

            • by tepples (727027)
              Context for moderators: We're trying to choose among A. an Internet-enabled HDTV, B. a plain HDTV with a PC, and C. a plain HDTV with a Wii. Only choice B is designed to play native indie games.

              Somehow, I think the thousands of dollars I've spent on Wii games since February wasn't for stuff kludged together from javascript and flash 7 ...

              But how many of those scores of Wii games were indie games, as I mentioned? Please see my other reply [slashdot.org].

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mrchaotica (681592) *

          I (the submitter of the article) actually do have a Wii already, so that's a serious possibility. In fact, I've also got the Homebrew Channel and Mplayer-CE installed on it, and can technically watch YouTube and Shoutcast video streams right now (aside from the crashes and bugginess).

          I do wish there was a Mozilla or Webkit browser available on the Wii so I wouldn't have to buy Opera, though -- it's not the $5; it's the principle of not wanting to have the purchase tied to the hardware.

          And another thing, whi

      • If I were spending that kind of money on television, I'd get a more basic high-resolution TV and if I want to add general-purpose-computer-type features, I'd use a computer to get them, because the computer's going to be much more flexible and extensible in the future than a locked-in TV feature set. That still probably means you're going to spend a couple of hundred dollars upgrading your video card, so you can get 1920x1080 or more at high speed, and then you'll probably find yourself adding a TV tuner ca

        • If I were spending that kind of money on television, I'd get a more basic high-resolution TV...

          You don't really have a choice: TVs with these Internet features tend to also be the TVs with good traditional-TV specs (1080P, 120Hz+ refresh rate, high contrast ratio, good color accuracy, etc.). Conversely, TVs without these features tend to be the ones with crappy screens.

          Besides, I have to spend at least $1200 on the TV itself whether I want to or not (to use up the whole credit). In other words, I'm hoping t

          • by XanC (644172)

            If you're only using this TV to connect to your computer, then 120Hz doesn't do you any good. Unless you can get the computer to output 24Hz while watching Bluray. The inputs on all TVs still only accept up to 60Hz.

    • Why doesn't that thing have a DVR, in addition to all the streaming.

      I looked around for a prebuilt MythTV system and basically haven't found anything.

    • Looks very interesting till I saw "follow us on twitter" Hey I have to stand up for what I believe just like I won't buy anymore Sony products.
  • by linzeal (197905) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @06:12PM (#28998835) Homepage Journal

    I recently had to return 3 Sony LCDs of 2 different varieties because of various manufacturing defects and decided to try Samsung. I had recently got a bonus at work so decided to splurge on an backlight with LEDs [wikipedia.org] to avoid the problems that plagued the Sony models I had. It might be a bit more expensive now to get an LED backed display like the one I ended up getting the UN40B6000 model [amazon.com] and I've had 0 problems with it so far. I should mention I'm picky as hell about colors and uneven lighting and I think it was worth the extra few bucks. Another bonus is that it runs far cooler than the other LCDs I have seen and given equal components (read capacitors) should last a lot longer.

    I also bought one of those Proscan 40" LCDs they had at Costco for 450 bucks and I use that to watch movies in the computer lounge area. Great deal but I would not waste a Blu-Ray player on it. It does have a transformer buzz thing going on all the time but for 450 bucks you can't complain. The only thing I hate about is that it draws 240 watts continuously because of the poor power system design but I just bought one of those wireless xmas-lights plugs and I turn off the whole power strip, warts and all when I'm not using it.

  • It's a TV!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Garbad Ropedink (1542973) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @06:21PM (#28998899)

    It's a damn TV! Not every bloody piece of technology is supposed to be able to have something to do with Linux. You want internet on your TV? Run a video cable from your computer to your TV and use a wireless keyboard and mouse. There you go. Internet on your TV!

    You Linux users get right on my nerves most of the time.
    'Is this microwave open standards compliant?'
    'Is this toaster open source?'
    'Does anybody know where I can get a Linux compatible table lamp?'
    'Has anyone tried installing Linux on an alarm clock?'

    I tells ya it never ends!

    • um too late dude (Score:3, Informative)

      by eean (177028)

      These TVs already run Linux.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

      You don't deserve that insightful rating. -1 ignorant is more like it.

      As the question explained, a lot of current model televisions have full-blown computers in them that are already running full-blown operating systems, in some cases, they are already running linux in a locked-down tivoized format (GPLv3 is looking more and more prescient). Most of the top-of-the-line models have ethernet ports and embedded support for video serving from places like youtube, netflix, hulu and yahoo. It is absolutely rea

    • by plover (150551) *

      By supporting the manufacturers who use Linux or other open source technologies, you encourage their adoption. By spending money on proprietary systems, you don't. It's called "voting with your wallet."

      And while a purchase like this ends up where each users contributes an almost negligible amount of support, it's the concept of millions of users that builds a strong base.

      Linux is already big in the embedded OS world so it's not likely to go away any time soon, but there are those of us who think it s

    • by MBCook (132727)

      I understand your frustration, and the microwave thing would be pretty ridiculous.

      But as long as manufacturers insist and making their TVs do more and more (Yahoo! widgets and other software), why not let me install my own software?

      My company just moved and we've put up an LCD in our entrance to show a simple video and slideshow of photos and other information. Terribly simple stuff that a DS or most cell phones could do (if they had a video decoder chip). Yet we'll have to hook it up to a computer to drive

    • Well I was considering getting a Samsung LCD television that had an ethernet port and RSS capability, and even some built-in games. The problem is, as far as I could tell from the marketing material, it would only let you pick up the USA Today RSS feed. So I'm thinking, you have a TV with an ethernet port, internet capability, and the ability to run programs and 1. you're only doing RSS and 2. you only let users choose the USA Today feed. It would be nice if I could pick up TWIT or even some video podcasts.
    • by rdnetto (955205)

      'Has anyone tried installing Linux on an alarm clock?'

      I have. I ended up configuring an old Linux PC to act as an alarm clock.

      And in response to your post, would you really prefer them to run Windows?

    • by Afforess (1310263)
      But your walls come with windows. Or was it the other way around...
    • by tepples (727027)

      Run a video cable from your computer to your TV

      For that, you'd have to have a spare computer to use with the TV. I've found that to be rare, even among households with an HDTV in the living room.

    • Most of the good TVs apparently run Linux anyway; I might as well get the best one.

      Plus, I plan to hang the thing on the wall, and I'd like to have as few extra cords and boxes as possible.

  • by TheGreenNuke (1612943) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @06:22PM (#28998905)
    just using the PC input most HDTV ship with? That way you get your full blown computer running whatever "[open standard|Linux|hacker]-friendly" system you want.
  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @06:24PM (#28998909)

    The technology in this area is changing very quickly, anything you get this week will be superseded quickly. Pick a TV based on the picture quality, power consumption and number of HDMI connections.

     

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ffujita (229489)

      As a historical example, there were TVs with built-in VHS and/or DVD players, but the other stuff got obsolete long before the TV did.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Ritchie70 (860516)

        And the Zenith TV my dad bought in the 80's had some sort of weird built-in text news thing and a thermal printer.

        I threw the printer away after he died, and the news stuff never worked that I saw, but I still have the TV.

        The point it, as ffujita says, TVs have historically tended to last longer as TVs than whatever foolishness is built into them.

        I'm not convinced that is still the case since they don't seem to last nearly as long any more.

  • Samsung firmware (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jvillain (546827)

    You might want to have a look at these threads on the Samsung 7/8/9 series firmware over at AVS.

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1134497&highlight=linux [avsforum.com]
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1047445&highlight=linux [avsforum.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 08, 2009 @06:48PM (#28999043)

    The simple reason you won't get a hacker-friendly HDMI-capable TV is that they can't support HDCP (copy protection) on that.

    That said, I'm sure a 3rd party firmware will turn out soon enough for some model, if haven't already.

  • Projector (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dsanfte (443781) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @06:49PM (#28999049) Journal

    My advice? And it's what I did... get a projector.

    You get a bigger screen than a TV (for me, 82" at 9.8ft), and it accepts all sorts of inputs. I have my HDTV box wired up to it by component cables, and a VGA D-SUB coming down for my laptop. It works fabulously, and I can switch between the two with a single button on the remote.

  • Get a Plasma (Score:2, Interesting)

    by genik76 (1193359)
    Don't get hyped by the bright colour of LCDs in the showroom, get a Plasma if you don't have an exceptionally bright living room or watch static images for a long time period. They have - better blacks (without gimmicks like LCD-backlighting) - more natural colors - much better motion resolution (http://www.crutchfield.com/S-mVnnO3HsmRB/learn/learningcenter/home/tv_flatpanel.html) Modern plasmas from better manufacturers (Pioneer, Panasonic, Samsung) don't have the burn-in issues (which were common some y
    • I have no clue why this is modded Informative.

      It doesn't address any portion of the questions being asked. I think an Offtopic would be more deserved.

      On topic:
      I think that mrchaotica should just build a small HTPC. You can pick up a small ITX board for about $200. It would feature an Intel Atom N330 and a GeForce 9400M with HDMI output.
      Buy a cheap ITX chassis and use a USB flash drive for OS (or small 1.8" SSD HDD).

      I built mine 6 months ago for about $400 + hard drives (3x1500GB drives). I've even built my

  • My experiences (Score:5, Informative)

    by wowbagger (69688) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @07:00PM (#28999113) Homepage Journal

    I bought a new HDTV, so let me share some of my experiences and things to look out for:

    1) DLNA. This is *supposed* to be a standard built on top of uPnP, allowing a TV to access a media server on the local network. It sounds good in theory: let your MythTV box stream directly to your TV. In practice, it is not worth very much: the set of video formats that a DLNA TV supports is VERY MUCH smaller than the set of formats you see in practice on your media files. In fact, my Samsung TV cannot even play back content streamed over the network that it can play if that same file is placed on a USB flash drive and plugged directly into the TV. My advice is don't plan on using DLNA, plan on hooking up a real computer.

    2) HDMI inputs. Again, my TV has 4 inputs - 3 more than I need. The TV will NOT take the digital audio from an HDMI source - for example, Blu-Ray audio from my PS3 - and pass that audio unmolested through to the optical output connecting the TV to the amplifier. As a result, all I would get from any game or from most Blu-Ray disks was the left and right channels passed on to the stereo - no sub, no surround, no center channel. And the TV does NOT have a six channel audio output - only 2. So I end up having to do all the switching at the stereo, and then pass everything on to the TV - so I really only need one HDMI input.

    3) HDMI-CEC. In theory, this allows the TV's remote to control other things, like a Blu-Ray player or a stereo, by passing the command data down the HDMI cable. The PS3 does not support this, nor does my lower-end (but brand new) Sony stereo. Maybe if you buy all of your gear from the same manufacturer, and you buy higher end gear this works, but beware. Plan on either having many remotes, or buying a smart remote and training it (and because the PS3 uses Bluetooth rather than IR, plan on your universal remote not controlling the PS3).

    4) Internet through your TV. Two words:
    Flash
    Javascript.
    Your TV will likely not support EITHER of them very well. Again, plan on an external computer. And DON'T plan on using a wireless mouse or keyboard - those things are so range-crippled now that unless you are within a couple of feet of the receiver (and I mean that literally: less than 4 feet!) they won't work (and that's not some no-name keyboard: that's a Logitech).

    5) Linux. Yes, my Samsung runs Linux. It is cool to see the GPL in the manual. Other than that - it really matters not at all. The TV application itself is NOT FLOSS, nor is the Linux any kind of a standard distribution: You aren't going to do a "apt-get install $FOO" here. The system doesn't implement any of the "standard" things you might want, like SSH or X. It doesn't even support any file system on external devices other than VFAT (so no larger-than-4G files using EXT2).

    All in all, my advice is: treat the TV as a monitor - it's job it to show pixels. Don't expect the TV to make sound - you'll have an external amp or receiver for that. Don't expect the TV to surf the web - you'll want a real computer with a real operating environment for that. Don't expect the TV to play media files - again, you'll want a real computer for that.

    Cut those features from the TV, and spend the money you save putting together a media PC as a companion for the TV.

    • Re:My experiences (Score:4, Informative)

      by chefmonkey (140671) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @07:20PM (#28999225)

      Just another perspective on wireless keyboard and mice: your experience mirrors mine, EXCEPT for Bluetooth devices. Our main TV right now has a Mac Mini hooked up to it, using an Apple Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Batteries in both are going on 6 months of pretty heavy use, and they still work from the front lawn (!), about 50 feet from the computer.

      The Logitech Bluetooth keyboard and mouse have similar range on them, but scream through batteries at a terrifying pace.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by gabebear (251933)
        I have a nearly identical setup, and can verify that it works amazingly well. My Mac Mini runs MythFrontend and streams TV from my Linux backend. After a wall or two the Apple keyboard/mouse become unusable... but it's way more range than you need.

        I normally have my laptop in front of me while watching TV, so I've started using Teleport [abyssoft.com], which is also great. I've used Synergy [sourceforge.net], but it's not nearly as slick as Teleport.
  • Seriously. Buy the largest TV or display that you can connect to PCs. Then buy a small quiet laptop and hook a programmable remote control onto it.

    Now all you need is the software. Which there is a big choice of. You can also build whatever you want.

    It's cheap, and the recording/time-shifting features are integrated.

  • you still need a box for cable and sat also the cable cable system is a big mess right now and a lot stuff is not in clear qam on cable.

  • It's on $99. Netflix and Amazon look great in HD if you have enough bandwidth. Then you can buy your TV based on video quality rather than connectivity.
  • I'm covering the intersection of Internet and TV now at Videotcy (http://videotcy.com/), and, of course, I've been covering Linux almost since day one. What I've found is that the TV vendors honestly don't know what they're going to do yet with Linux. Or, to be more precise, they don't know how they're going to bring Internet-based video into their TVs. That's in large part because the field is still developing, For example, only one in five of Ethernet/Wi-Fi equipped TVs are even connected to the Internet.

  • Not sure if it runs Linux under the hood (yeah, shame on me for not hacking it)... but I like my Samsung TV just fine. It has Yahoo widgets for Flickr, Youtube, the weather, stocks, and a bunch of other stuff. You can plug in a USB thumb drive or portable hard drive and it will play MP3's and video right off the disk. It does not have a built in DVR, nor does it support that functionality, but it's a nice TV with some cool extra features that I find useful.

  • Whether or not a device runs linux is, these days, not a hugely useful guide to its level of openness, especially when audio/video become involved.

    Many embedded platforms, almost certainly the majority of those used in "HD" media setups, support a pretty aggressive set of lockdown features at the hardware/low-level firmware level. If the system will only load manufacturer signed firmware, all the GPL2 in the world won't help you. If you are very lucky, and know a lot about what you are doing, they'll hav
  • by mark_wilkins (687537) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @08:42PM (#28999545)
    In early 1996, I was a software engineer for Mitsubishi Consumer Electronics, in meetings to plan their first generation implementation of the ATV standard, on which current, U.S. HDTV devices are based. A huge priority for them at the time was to build a web browser into their television sets, and many ways to do this were investigated.

    WebTV, which was pretty much the same idea in a set-top box, was in development at the time, and provided a model for that kind of thing, so Mitsubishi announced that they would, at some unspecified point, begin selling TVs with a feature they called "Diamond Internet" built into them.

    It never happened. I don't know whether the issue was politics in the software department, or maybe just management recognition that it was a gimmick, but they never delivered such a product. Probably it came down to there just being too many other issues to manage to get an ATV set out the door.

    However, it's clear that the idea's been there, lurking in people's minds, for the thirteen intervening years, and hasn't become any more useful a concept.

    Incidentally, around that same time, I did buy a wonderful set-top-box by a company called Videoguide, that delivered TV schedules and news headlines to the device via unused text pager bandwidth. It was a great product, inexpensive and very useful, as even though I did have internet at home at that time, it wasn't an always-on connection. However, between shortened times to come out of sleep for laptops and PCs and the ubiquity of always-on internet connections in the home, I think the utility of a product like that isn't what it used to be. And anyway, Videoguide ended up getting bought out by Gemstar after spending tons of money.
  • ... but Philips has the Net TV line range, and while not 'open' perse, it does allow you to browse all internet addresses, instead of just the Samsung/Panasonic/etc. addresses....

  • Dont bother... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MrBandersnatch (544818) on Sunday August 09, 2009 @08:01AM (#29001645)

    I spent the last 3 months choosing a new TV (final decision : Panasonic 50G10). I had a good hard look at the internet and media capabilities of the sets on offer and decided that they were far too tied in to vendor support for codecs and then I was NEVER going to get the flexibility and capabilities that a dedicated HTPC would offer. Case in point : The Pani 50V10 with all the bells and whistles has problems with some common audio codecs and 6 months after release this has yet to be rectified.

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