Sony, Matsushita Sharp and Toshiba are working together to develop a joint standard for internet televisions that they claim will make it easier for people to see video available on the web, a Sony spokeswoman says.
The TVs aim to make accessing video and similar online content easier than with computers, said spokeswoman Mina Naito.
Other companies involved are Sharp Corp, Toshiba Corp and Hitachi Ltd. The companies plan to start selling the new televisions as early as next year, the Nihon Keizai newspaper reported.
Naito said the timelines and other details of the products have not been disclosed. The five rivals set up a joint company last month called TV Portal Service Corp to develop a common standard for connecting the web, Naito said.
Sony and Matsushita are the lead shareholders, each with 35 per cent stake. The others have 10 per cent shares. The internet TVs will features a remote control that allows online access with the touch of a button and will also eliminate the need for a personal computer keyboard to make the gadget more user-friendly, the Nihon Keizai said.
The new televisions will use Linux operating systems instead of Microsoft Windows, it added. That feature is aimed at cutting the time needed to boot up and reducing the risk of virus infection.
Together, the five companies expect to sell 10 million to 20 million units by Japan’s 2011 changeover to terrestrial digital broadcasting, according to the report.