Internet Ready Televisions
WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- Take the internet and some of the newest TVs. Now you can marry the two at the click of a button.
"Most of the major TV brands now have at lest a couple of models that can access the Internet through a broadband connection. Those sets tend to be a little bit more expensive though," says Jim Willcox.
Consumer Reports checked out several online services, including Viera Cast from Panasonic, Samsung's Media 2.0, and LG's Netcast.
You can access most of these services by connecting a TV to the Internet via an ethernet connection, and then pushing a button on your remote.
Icons called widgets appear on the TV screen. A couple of clicks starts the program, for instance, on YouTube.
Depending on your set, you can also stream movies from companies like Amazon Video on Demand, Netflix or Vudu.
Jim says, "Overall, we found the quality of the streaming video to be good, about the quality of a DVD."
And Vudu's HDX format is even better. It's real HD quality. But, you will need a faster Internet connection.
Also, on Internet-enabled TVs, you can access weather, stock updates and share photos.
"We found all the online services relatively easy to use," says Jim Willcox.
As for the cost, except for streaming movies, the services are free.
While these TVs are able to access the internet, you cannot surf the Net like you can on your computer.
If you're looking to buy an Internet-ready TV, Consumer Reports says Samsung's 6000 and 7000 series and Sony's XBR series tested well and are worth considering.