Smart TV's to take off in 2011 - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Smart TV's to take off in 2011

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By Jay Cashmere - bio | email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Expect TVs to get smarter in 2011.

So, what's a smart TV?

"Convergence of the Internet and television. I think this year we're finally going to see more of that," said Jim Barry, spokesman for the Consumer Electronics Association.

Smart TVs can do things like download apps, stream video from the Internet, and play music from your favorite radio station half way across the country. Boxee is one of the many companies developing a smart TV platform.

"It just opens up that TV world to be so much more than just 300 channels," said Avner Ronen, founder of Boxee.

He said smart TVs are different than DVRs because you can access any content "in the cloud" instead of just the things you've recorded.  Intel is also working on smart TV technology. Wilfred Martis, a manager in the digital home group of Intel, said social media will be a big part of this too.

"All of a sudden you can start voting on stuff, you can share with your friends what you're watching and maybe even comment on it," added Martis.

He also expects to see more video phone calls happening from our couch. Martis thinks it just makes sense for some applications.

"You could play poker with your friends because they need to see your face. Poker is a game about reading other people's faces," said Martis.

Smart TV technology comes pre-built into some new televisions but here are some of the smart TV set-top boxes available to help turn your existing dumb TV into a smart TV.

Boxee $200
Roku $60 - $100
Google TV $300+
Apple TV $100

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