Streaming media devices are a good idea, but a better idea is baking those features straight into your TV. While TV manufacturers have been pretty slow about integrating online services with their sets, they've finally started figuring out it's not too tough to add an Ethernet port to their models. Of course, you also need to give buyers compelling reasons to connect those TVs to their home networks, and LG is the first company to ship sets with support for Netflix
LG has announced four 1080p models using its NetCast suite of interactive services, two are should already be available: the 47-inch 47LH50 LCD and the 50-inch 50PS80 plasma. This summer, they'll be joined by a pair of other sets—the 42-inch 42LH50 LCD TV and the 60-inch 60PS80 plasma (pictured). The plasma are also notable for their THX Display Certification, a technology that optimizes picture settings regardless of the content. In order to make use of Netflix's on-demand titles, you'll need to be a subscriber to the $8.99 monthly plan or higher. The NetCast sets will also be able to run Yahoo's new TV widgets, which will start popping up on other manufacturers' displays in the coming months.
Of course, you'll pay a premium price for the new LG sets: The cheapest one, the 42LH50, will cost $1,700, while the 47LH50 and 50PS80 are each priced at $2,100. (In comparison, the 50-inch THX Display certified
but non-networked Panasonic G10 plasma costs $1,799.95.) Not surprisingly, the 60PS80 costs a lot more than the others at $3,200.