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TVB Tech Alert: LG to ARM its TV Sets

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: LG Electronics cut a deal with ARM Holdings, the Cambridge, England chip maker that supplies silicon for the majority of cell phones on the market, including the new Apple iPhone 3GS. The ARM chips render equipped LG sets with functions similar to a PC. They’ll handle Web widgets faster and stream Web video in 1080p, the Mirror reports. ARM-equipped LG sets conceivably could have applications similar to those used with iPhones.

No release date for ARMed TVs was set, but HDTV News said industry experts expected them by next January, probably in time for the next Consumer Electronics Show.

Internet-browsing TV sets, or at least talk of them, has been increasing over the last six months, since prototypes and concepts debuted at 2009 CES. LG took a step in the mash-up direction last week when it announced the availability of two new models with Ethernet ports and a Netflix widget.

Vizio, one of the biggest flat-panel makers in the country (the biggest, according to Vizio), debuted its Internet-enabled TVs at CES and just announced support for eBay, Facebook, Revision3, Twitter, Vudu and several other sites (See image). Vizio’s Web-surfing sets have integrated WiFi and Bluetooth remotes with sliding keyboards. ’Net-browsing, 1080p XVT series Vizio sets are scheduled to be on store shelves by this fall, with the aforementioned widgets becoming available then or soon after, the company said. – Deborah D. McAdams