Net TV on the rise despite limitationsInternet connected HDTVs more common than 3DTVs
22 June 2010
Despite the hype around 3D TV, Net TV could actually have the biggest impact on how we watch television. The latest generation of HDTVs can connect to the internet, letting you stream web content directly into your living room.
To find the best HDTV check out our independent reviews.
Panasonic and Sony TVs
Rather than full-blown web surfing, Net TVs provide access to a series of specially designed ‘widgets’. Until recently they were no more sophisticated than weather or news sites, but the latest models allow access to suites of video-streaming widgets.
It’s still early days and Which? tests have exposed some limitations. For instance, you can stream movies from LoveFilm directly to some but the current choice is limited. And Channel 5’s video catch-up service ‘Demand Five’ had distorted sound in our Sony TV tests.
On Net TVs you can navigate widgets with a keyboard plugged into the USB port, but some functions didn’t work properly when we tried it.
Connect via Blu-ray
Other devices (such as some Blu-ray players and Freesat/Freeview HD boxes) feature Ethernet ports for accessing Net TV and catch-up services such as BBC’s iPlayer. But the biggest changes are still to come.
Both Sky and Google are branching into Net TV and the main terrestrial broadcasters are working on Project Canvas, an internet TV platform designed to deliver content across all brands of compatible TVs and set-top boxes.
How to follow the latest Which? Tech news
Are you a Twitter user? Follow WhichTech on Twitter for regular tech tweets.
Prefer RSS? Don't miss a thing with the Which? tech RSS feed.
For just the main headlines in newsletter form, sign-up to our weekly Which? tech email.
Apple iPad 2 3G data plans compared - find the best 3G plan for your iPad
Best Android tablets round-up - we look at the best iPad alternatives around
Best cheap laptops for under £500 - find the best laptop deals