HP Unveils MediaSmart TVs
HP says it will begin shipping in late August two new second-generation versions of its MediaSmart TVs that Jim Sanduski, vice president and general manager for the Digital TV Solutions segment of the company’s Personal Systems Group, says are “true ‘convergence’ TVs.” These sets, he elaborates, can access, either through wire or wirelessly, photos, files or videos locked to a PC, and also, via a new, simplified user interface, will permit access to and viewing of on-line streamed and downloaded content. The TVs integrate 802.11n wireless networking capability.
The models, SL4278N ($2,200) and SL4778N ($2,700), are larger in screen size and in resolution than their 37-inch, 720p precursors, and are to be made available through what Brian Burch, director of marketing, managed home business for the Group, says will be “mainstream and specialty distribution along with a variety of online outlets including HP.” Sanduski adds that larger screen sizes are in the works for 2008 introduction.
The new sets can aggregate content from all source devices within a home for seamless connection and viewing, and are equipped to connect directly to on-line services, allowing for what Burch terms “couch-based download” of high-definition content, including movies. A mock demo of this capability was conducted using the 4,000-title library of CinemaNow, a privately held provider of premium on-demand movies and video content. Burch says the linkup with CinemaNow’s service was in preliminary stages and could be available by late summer. He adds that fees for purchased or rented content will vary.