Philips is resurrecting a very, very old project as it plans to pair the internet and your television through a service called Net TV, which will be available in the UK as from April 2009.
Some old enough to remember 56k modems might also remember Philips Web TV project that it launched back in 1996 with Sony. The hardware will actually be built into the television set itself it seems.
Philips said that the Net TV will be available at first in its high end Philips 8000 and 9000 series as well as on its Cinema 21:9 although, in the latter's case, browsing the web might be a challenge.
The Net TV will allow viewers to browse the web using their remote control only and will consists of a number of website and services like Youtube, TomTom, eBay, MeteoGroup, Funspot, MyAlbum and Netlog.
Content on those websites it likely to be magnified to make it easier to read from a distance. The Dutch manufacturer has also plans to add more localised services for non-English speakers across Europe.
The Net TV will be available in both wireless and wired versions and there are no details as to whether this will be a free or paid service.
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We are highly skeptical about the success of this venture which reminds us all too well of archaic content strategies: limiting whatever your customers are seeing is not a great idea. The Series 8000 and 9000 TV sets are certainly going to be way more expensive than their rivals, having to surf using a remote control is at best frustrating, at worst, life threatening.
Web boxes and net TVs might have been a great idea 10 years ago. What we really, really need now is Wireless HDMI throughout (or at leas some kind of wireless connectivity). For now, i will still be using my wireless Keysonic keyboard.