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Philips unveils first Internet-ready TV set

/ Source: Reuters

Dutch Philips Electronics on Wednesday unveiled a television set featuring a wireless connection to the Internet and personal computers, enabling it to play music, pictures and video from the Web or PCs.

The product, which was shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and which is not yet on sale, adds to a range of networked products manufactured by Europe’s largest consumer electronics maker.

Philips is already selling an Internet-connected HiFi set which can play radio channels that are available on the Web. It has also announced home servers which can pull music and video from the Net and transport it to the TVs and HiFi sets which consumers already have in their homes.

For the recent holiday season, the Dutch company began selling the first products through European telecoms operators such as British Telecom, Spain’s Telefonica and Dutch KPN , which hope to sell more broadband Internet connections.

Philips’s Asian rivals also have started to sell networked consumer electronics products.

The company also launched other new products at the Consumer Electronics Show, including new portable music players, ambient lighting and a hard disk/dvd recorder with a built-in electronic program guide.

The company also said it would work with leading Internet content company Yahoo Inc. to offer music videos, movie trailers, and photo viewing with online storage.

The company also reaffirmed its commitment to its North American division, which had once faced the prospect of being shut down, and introduced the new head of that unit, Reiner Jens, who took over the division this week.

“At Philips we have turned our ship around,” Jens said. “This is not a new direction for Philips in North America.”