(AFP) – Jan 7, 2008
TOKYO (AFP) — After taking the Internet by storm, soon YouTube will be available on televisions.
The Japanese giant behind the Panasonic brand said Tuesday that it will introduce Internet-ready plasma TVs in North America in the spring that allow users to browse videos on YouTube and photos from Google-based web albums.
"This is the first time mainstream consumers will be able to easily enjoy YouTube videos from the living room with the enhanced quality of a fully integrated widescreen TV experience," said Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.
Rival Sony Corp. also announced that from this spring it will launch televisions offering access to free Internet video content from providers including AOL, Yahoo, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony BMG Music.
The TVs will be able to receive streaming broadband video, including high-definition content, Sony said. Both announcements were made at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
"Internet video will clearly be the next step in the evolution of high-definition television, giving users more control over the content they view," said Sony Electronics senior vice president Randy Waynick.
Sony Pictures Television also announced that it will put some of its content on YouTube through several channels supported by advertising.
The first channel, called Minisode Network, will offer five-minute versions of popular television shows.
Since buying YouTube in 2006 for 1.65 billion dollars, Google has been under fire from video owners including entertainment giant Viacom and the English soccer league for not doing more to stop users from posting copyrighted clips.
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