Sony wings 'W' LCDs with Yahoo widgets

The Sony KDL-W4100 series rounds out the company's early-2009 LCD lineup by offering Yahoo widgets at price points than other widget-equipped lines from the company.

The KDL-W5100 series gets Yahoo widgets at a lower, but as-yet-undisclosed, price than other Sony models. Sony

At Sony's line show today in Las Vegas, the company announced another new line of HDTVs with Yahoo widgets , the company's least-expensive HDTVs yet to feature the interactive doo-dads.

The KDL-W5100 series will consist of three screen sizes: the 52-inch KDL-52W5100, 46-inch KDL-46W5100, and 40-inch KDL-40W5100. Sony did not announce pricing or availability beyond "spring," and that information was not leaked along with other Sony HDTVs' price and availability .

Successor to last year's KDL-W4100 series, which performed relatively well in our review, the W5100 models' big improvement is Yahoo widgets. According to Sony, the widgets "expand and personalize the experience by allowing you to interact with your favorite Internet content like Yahoo News, Video, Finance, and Flickr while watching TV shows. Track your favorite sports team, check your stocks, and share photos with friends and family as you watch television."

Sony is also quick to tout the new sets' compatibility with the Bravia Internet Video Link. Our review of that device was anything but ambivalent.

Unlike the company's two other series to feature Widgets, the KDL-Z5100 and KDL-XBR9 models first announced at CES, the W5100 models have 120Hz refresh rates, not 240Hz . Since we don't see much value in 240Hz at the moment, that makes the W5100 more recommendable than the other two series, judging by specification sheets alone.

Sony has improved the DLNA-compliant capabilities on the W5100 models compared with last year's Z-series , adding video and music streaming in addition to photos. There's also an Internet-powered version of TV Guide's EPG, compatibility with 1080p/24 sources, and four HDMI inputs.

We'll have an in-depth review of the W5100 series and Yahoo widgets as soon as possible.

About the author

Section Editor David Katzmaier has reviewed TVs at CNET since 2002. He is an ISF certified, NIST trained calibrator and developed CNET's TV test procedure himself. Previously David wrote reviews and features for Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as "The Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics."

 

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