Etisalat to offer Internet & videos through LG Smart TV

Etisalat and LG have teamed up to deliver Internet and videos through LG’s new range of Internet-enabled TVs. The agreement is primarily targeted at the Middle East market, where Etisalat is a big player.

The new LG TVs, also available in India, contain built in mini-computers inside them that allow the TV to be used as an Internet browsing device. Users can watch videos, go to facebook and other social networking sites, watch special videos and movies from Etisalat and launch apps or applications that do special things.

“The unique platform provides access to thousands of movies, customizable apps, videos and the ability to browse the Web through an easy navigating user interface and mouse-like point and click remote system, giving the user an experience that is easy, fun and unlimited premium content,” Etisalat said.

Some experts believe that the TV will replace the computer as the primary device for accessing Internet. Companies are already bringing out Internet-surfing TVs, such as the LG Smart TV, as well as special set-top-boxes (like DTH boxes) which convert any ordinary TV into an Internet TV.

The typing is done through a special wireless keyboard that can be placed on one’s lap.

India is expected to see the launch of several such services next year as firms such as Reliance Communications, Bharti Airtel and Infotel Broadband (of Mukesh Ambani) roll out very high speed Internet services (4G). They are expected to sell hybrid DTH-cum-Internet boxes to consumers who can then use the DTH services to watch normal TV and also use the box to watch special programs such as movies and videos, or browse the Internet or make video calls.

The LG TV, when turned on, shows four main menu — Live TV (for normal TV), Premium Content (for videos from Etisalat etc.), TV Apps and Launch Bar.

The Korean firm said it is targeting to have more than 550 applications for LG App store until the first half year of 2011.

“The platform includes a Web browser so users no longer need to turn on their laptop to access the internet. LG’s Smart Share function allows users to wirelessly stream content from their PCs and other compatible devices for viewing on their television screen,” LG said.