You might remember Sharp's Aquos SE94 LCD HDTVs from CES reports back in January, but the Internet-faring TVs are finally real and shipping within North America. Let us refresh your memory: The Aquos SE94 sets — in 46, 52, and 65-inch models — have built in PC and ethernet ports in the back panel that allow the sets to access the Web.
Now, it isn't the entire Web that the TVs can browse, mind you, it is
just a subset for now. At Aquos Net, SE94 owners can grab Web widgets
that retrieve information and updates online and report back at the
right side of the screen. Such widgets include weather forecasts, image
libraries, and real-time customer support. That means a service
technician can (perhaps) find out what section of the series of tubes
running into your TV is preventing the true HD signal from presenting
itself, rather than having you disconnect your components one by one
over the phone.
But it could only be a matter of time before enterprising SE94-owning
hacker types figure out a way to get their TVs to do a lot more than
that over the Internet. Maybe they'll figure out a way to get the TV to
turn on via an Internet command executed remotely, thus cruelly
frightening unsuspecting house pets. —Rachel Rosmarin
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