Web connectivity a bigger deal for HDTV than 3D

Sure, 3D is splashy, flashy and fun — but it will take a back seat to Web services in the HDTV features war.

Is 3D television the next big thing in consumer tech? Splashy, flashy, and (virtually) in your face, 3D TV is getting a mega-promotional boost by its backers, including Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony, all of whom hope you'll be so bowled over by 3D's visual splendor that you won't mind paying a few thousand bucks for the 3D-at-home experience.

Well, 3D is pretty cool, I must admit. But its charm is limited to certain types of programming, and the unresolved problem of pricey, non-standardized 3D glasses will turn off a lot of potential buyers. And that's why 3D TV will take a back seat to Web services in the HDTV features war.

Web TV Arrives

Televisions with built-in Internet connections, typically an Ethernet port and/or Wi-Fi, are becoming increasingly common as manufacturers roll out their 2010 models. These HDTVs, such as LG's Web-ready lineup priced from $1,300 to $2,700, make it easy to access a rapidly expanding universe of Internet-based services, including movie-streaming services like Netflix and Vudu, as well as TV widgets that bring online content such as news, weather, traffic, stock quotes, and social networks (e.g., Facebook and Twitter) to the living room.

Even better, a Web-enabled TV can save you money. Do you need a Roku Digital Video Player if your TV is Internet-ready? A Blu-ray player? I'm guessing "no" to both. Vudu already offers 1080p movie streaming--provided your broadband connection is fast enough--and competing video services will soon follow. (Note: Not all Web-enabled TVs support Vudu, and I suspect many more will now that Wal-Mart has bought the company.) Bottom line: Web-connected TVs allow you to avoid additional set-top boxes, movie players, and shiny discs.

Glitches Abound

Internet-ready TVs are still in their infancy, and they're far from perfect. I've tested a few set-top boxes and Blu-ray players, and found them a bit flaky at times. They might, for instance, drop a Wi-Fi connection in the middle of movie and not be able to reconnect without a reboot. And in residences where the broadband router is far from the living room--perhaps in an upstairs home office--users may find it difficult to bring the Web to the TV.

Over time, however, these glitches will be resolved, and the Internet-TV relationship will bloom. So the next time you're shopping for a new HDTV, remember that Web connectivity is far more important than eye-popping 3D graphics.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeff Bertolucci

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?