Sharp to include Internet reception in new TV sets

Sharp is equipping its new flat-panel TVs with hard disks and the capability to receive television programming from the Internet, according to a report last week in Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

Sharp's new liquid crystal display TVs will allow viewers to watch traditional TV programs, surf the Internet, and view broadband video on a large, HD screen — all with the push of a remote-control button.

The Internet Aquos lineup, which goes on sale in Japan later this month, comprises of 32- and 37in models. Each size has two drive options: a 500GB HDD that can record high-definition programs, and a 250GB version that can record only analog terrestrial broadcasts.

In addition to TV programs, digital photos and music can be downloaded and stored on the drives.

Sharp's Internet Aquos models have two separate hardware units: a TV and a computer. The two-unit setup will give users flexibility in laying out the systems.

The company has yet to announce when the sets might appear in the United States.

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