Another trend is more HDTVs with built-in tuners for decoding off-air high-def broadcasts, as opposed to HDTV monitors that need an outboard decoder. Zenith has three integrated sets on display: the widescreen 34-inch C34W23 ($2,499) and two 4:3 models, the 32-inch C32V23 ($1,500) and the 36-inch C36V23 ($1,999). Thomson Multimedia announced a new 61-inch widescreen rear-projection CRT-based HDTV, the HD61W140, to be marketed under the company's new RCA Scenium. In addition to receiving and decoding digital TV broadcasts, the big-screen set is decked out with numerous multimedia-friendly features, including a Windows CE-based operating system and an Ethernet port. The HD61W140 also features both DVI and FireWire (IEEE 1394) connections, making it the only TV aside from select Mitsubishi sets to feature FireWire.
On the set-top HDTV tuner front, three product announcements grabbed attention. Samsung's new SIR-TS160 DirecTV/HDTV receiver offers 1080i- and 720p-format output and features both wideband component-video and DVI connections. The box will cost $699 when it becomes available this summer. And JVC showed a prototype of its TU-9000 Dish Network/HDTV receiver, also slated for a summer release. In addition to wideband component-video and DVI outputs, the TU-9000 has a FireWire port, allowing you to record high-def programs using JVC's HM-DH3000 D-VHS recorder ($1,999), which also features a FireWire connection. Finally, EchoStar's new HDTV-capable satellite receiver was demonstrated at the company's press conference. Unfortunately, no details were available except that it includes a hard-disk drive for recording both standard and high-definition programs (now, that's exciting!) and that it'll be released late this year or early in 2003.
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