Best Buy jumps into connected TV market with two new models

With increasing consumer demand for easy access to over-the-top online video content from services like Netflix and Hulu, it's no surprise that CE manufacturers are jumping on the connected TV bandwagon.

Insignia TV

The Insignia TVs will be available in 32-inch and 42-inch models at Best Buy.

Big box retailer Best Buy today announced it, too, was getting on board, adding a pair of Internet-ready models to its in-house brand Insignia. The Minneapolis-based company said it was rolling out a 32-inch and 42-inch model, both with a no-cost TiVo user interface built into the hardware.

The Insignia sets will give consumers access to most desired services, including Netflix, CinemaNow, YouTube, Pandora and Napster.

Best Buy said the set was developed based on customer input with a focus on ease of setup and ease of use. The smart TV includes a step-by-step guided setup, easy content discovery with TiVo and built-in search capabilities.

"We've heard from customers that Smart TVs can be intimidating, and we've put 110 percent of our energy into making the powerful features of the Insignia Connected TV easy to enjoy," said Patrick McGinnis, vice president of Exclusive Brands at Best Buy.

The sets come preloaded with applications from content platform Chumby, including Twitter, Facebook, Photobucket, Accuweather, and Reuters News. Customers can customize their experience by selecting additional content from the chumby network, which supports hundreds of applications for the Insignia Connected TV.

DisplaySearch's Quarterly TV Design and Features Report forecasts connected TV shipments will exceed 138 million units annually by 2015 and will account for 47 percent of all flat-panel TVs shipped that year. The report also predicts that by the end of 2015, half a billion connected TV units will have shipped to-date. The firm said it expects to see about 25 percent of all connected TVs shipped this year to be Internet-ready.

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