Built-in Wi-Fi: Philips 23PF9976i LCD TV
The Philips 23PF9976i is a 23-inch flat-panel LCD HDTV with built-in wireless capabilities. The 23PF9976i will be released in the third quarter of 2004 and have a retail price of $2,300.
Upside: When in the presence of your home Wi-Fi network, the 23PF9976i's built-in 802.11g wireless card provides a fast connection for streaming multimedia files from the Internet or your PC. The TV supports a large range of video (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, XviD), audio (MP3, MP3PRO), and image (JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG) file formats, and it also comes with a built-in FM tuner. According to the spec sheet, the 23PF9976i features a high native resolution of 1,280x768, a wide-screen display, a component-video input, a VGA input for computers, and an S-Video input. The 23PF9976i also includes a headphone output, which could be useful if you want your audio to play on something other than the TV's speakers.
Downside: Although the 23PF9976i supports many file formats, Windows Media Audio users are out of luck. And although we have not yet reviewed the 23PF9976i, LCD flat-panel TVs typically have below-average black-level performance and a slower response time than do CRT or, to a lesser extent, plasma TVs.
Outlook: While $2,300 is slightly expensive for a 23-inch TV, the 23PF9976i does include an almost full-featured network media player. And the 23PF9976i might be a good option for those looking to play media files off their network without the clutter of another set-top box. Look for the full review to see how its picture quality and wireless functionality stack up against the competition's.