General Electric, Tatung Team Up Bringing You Internet-Connected LCD TV's In 2009
We didn't anticipate this, but General Electric has teamed up with display maker Tatung to shake up the HDTV market. And we're not talking about another budget HDTV strategy either-GE's going fully internet-connected.
GE hasn't announced anything specific, but come April 2009 expect to see some eco-friendly high-end LCD HDTV's hitting shelves. Really though, this is a case of Tatung leveraging a well-known brand name. They'll take a 51% stake in the joint venture and control both the design and manufacturing of the new lineup, expected to range in size from 19- to 65-inches and eventually incorporating LED backlighting. Initial models will be fluorescently backlit however.
Unfortunately internet connectivity won't be integrated into the HDTV's initially, it'll involve a separate set-top box that we won't see in April. But it seems GE and Tatung intend to eventually integrate the functionality directly into the TV. NBC Universal and NBC.com will be the initial streaming content partners, but Tru2way and BD-Live Blu-ray playback will work its way into the feature mix eventually.
This will be an interesting development in the HDTV market as it seems GE's interest lies more in using open platforms to conveniently deliver high-quality content to consumers than the TV's themselves. They'll leave that to Tatung, so this has the potential to be a powerful partnership. Of course, given that these will be branded premium HDTV's you can probably expect to pay premium prices which will undoubtedly be announced at CES 2009.
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Posted by Justin Davey at September 25, 2008 10:44 AM