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More in tune with Net TVs

The Net TV craze is getting red hot. Sanyo and Samsung say they too will sell TVs that can surf the Web.

The Net TV craze is getting red hot, and just in time for the holiday shopping season. Today, Sanyo Electric and Samsung Electronics said they would sell TVs that could surf the Web.

The devices also let viewers send and receive email using a handheld remote control. The Sanyo and Samsung deals follow last week's announcement by Sharp to sell a 27-inch Internet TV for about $3,000. Last week, WebTVsaid it would charge $19.95 a month for its service, and Bandai Entertainment today confirmed that it would use a custom browser by Spyglass for its Pippin Internet TV product, which was developed by Apple Computer.

The spate of announcements show that the idea of surfing the Web on TV--once dismissed as just another hyped high-tech fantasy--is on the verge of becoming a reality. Internet TVs could account for 10 percent of the wide-screen television market by the end of the decade, according to some estimates.

Sanyo will start selling Internet TVs in Japan on October 25 for as little as $1,000. It plans to sell 7,000 21-inch TVs per month and 3,000 per month of a 28-inch model.

Samsung Electronics plans to start selling its Net TV product in South Korea this fall and expects to begin exports to the United States by 1997.

Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Philips, Sony, and Zenith are planning similar models.