Net TV on the rise despite limitationsInternet connected HDTVs more common than 3DTVs

22 June 2010

YouTube on Sony Bravia Internet TV

Watch YouTube on the telly, but it's early days for Net TV 

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.

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