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CES: New generation TVs are loaded 3D and other features

By January 7, 2010Newswires

CES: New generation TVs are loaded 3D and other features
by Troy Wolverton

LAS VEGAS — They won`t be boob tubes much longer.

Made smarter by Internet and computer technologies, a new generation of TVs coming out this year will have features inconceivable just a few years ago.

The most eye-catching change is 3-D. Toshiba will offer a television with a Cell processor, the same powerful chip that`s inside Sony`s PlayStation 3 console, allowing viewers to transform ordinary video into three dimensions.

Samsung, meanwhile, taking a page from the smartphone industry, is going to provide software tools that will let developers create applications for its televisions, including apps for shopping or travel. And LG and Panasonic will offer televisions that allow consumers to place video calls.

Some new TVs can record video on built-in hard drives, play movies off built-in Blu-ray disc players and display video streamed directly to them from the Internet. They also allow users to post messages to Twitter.

That`s quite a change from the days when TVs typically did little more than allow consumers to watch over-the-air or cable-TV shows.

TV manufacturers, eager to shore up prices that have been in a free fall, showed off some of the new, advanced televisions at their news conferences here Wednesday in advance of the Consumer Electronics Show, which officially opens today.

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