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Sony to enable TVs to play Internet video

Aim is to marry video with traditional devices was part of a bid to showcase video gaming, digital imaging, high-definition and mobile products.

LAS VEGAS--Sony said on Sunday it would enable most of its new televisions, including high-definition flat screens, to play video from the Internet.

Sony, which unveiled the plan here at the Consumer Electronics Show, said the drive to marry Internet and other digital video with traditional devices was part of a bid to showcase its four strategic growth areas: video gaming, digital imaging, high-definition and mobile products.

Starting early this year, Sony will equip its TVs with an attachable module that can stream broadband high-definition and other Internet video content such as programs from Time Warner's AOL and Yahoo with the push of a remote control button.

Sony also introduced an icon-based user interface, called Xross Media Bar, that is similar to a system already found on its PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable gaming devices.

Several major consumer electronics makers are expected to use this week's electronics show to launch products or services that give consumers greater control over pictures, music and video originating from multiple sources, such as their own personal libraries or the Web.

At Sony's press conference at CES, the company said it was committed to personalization and portability in products that allow consumers to access a variety of entertainment, communication and information without boundaries.

Other news from the event included the introduction of a new VAIO personal computer, which Sony says weighs about 1 pound (0.5 kilograms) and makes it the smallest-sized, full-functioning notebook computer. The company also said a variety of Ford vehicles sold this year in the United States and Europe would feature Sony-branded car stereo equipment.