Marks and Spencer will sell television sets that integrate the necessary electronics that allow it to stream iPlayer content, BBC's video on demand service, without the need for an additional unwieldy set top box.
The set, called the iViewer and manufactured by UK-based company Cello Electronics, will cost £399 for a 26-inch HD-ready version and £499 for the full HD 32-inch version and will be exclusive to Marks and Spencer until the end of February 2010.
Users will also need to have an internet connection to be able to access iPlayer as well as other third party video content like Disney Movies Previews, Movie Rush, Autocar Magazine, Sky Sports Boots 'N' All, the CNN daily video podcast, Jamie's Ministry of Food, Delicious TV Veg, Revision 3 Diggnation and the Larry King video podcasts.
The iViewer television also features information widgets which provide geo-targeted data feeds straight to the user and will be able to stream content from DLNA media servers and networked computers.
The rest of the iViewer configuration is pretty much standard including a pair of USB ports, two SCART connectors, VGA and a DVD drive. It is not known whether other video on demand players - for example Channel 4's 4OD, Channel Five VoD or Sky Player - will be available on the device or if users will be able to surf websites.
Cello also produces brands under the Neon name which means that Morrisons and Shop Direct Limited group could also get the iViewer fairly soon. The iViewer is an elegant solution but is still a tad more expensive that we'd expect; at £499 for a 32-inch television, it is twice as expensive as a £249 Alba Television set