LAS VEGAS -- Talking to the TV is usually sign of extreme agitation, mental instability or loneliness. LG Electronics is set to make it a more rational behavior this year, with a range of TVs that respond to speech.
LG will sell a remote with its high-end flat-panel TVs that contains a microphone. You'll be able to speak into the microphone to enter text on the TV for Twitter updates and Web searches. You won't be able to change the channel or control the volume by yelling at the TV.
LG Electronics USA showed the new TVs Monday, a day ahead of the opening of the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Other companies are expected to show off ways to make it easier to tap into the "smarts" of today's TVs.
Dish Network also announced Monday it's launching a high-powered set-top box that can act as the central TV recorder for the whole home.
The "Hopper" box can record six shows simultaneously, and its recordings can be accessed from smaller boxes, called "Joeys," that can be distributed around the house.
Other TV providers have so-called "whole-home digital video recorders," but Dish Network Corp. is taking the concept a bit further. The Hopper, for instance, will record each day's lineup of primetime shows on the major broadcast networks.
The box will be free with a two-year contract, said Vivek Khemka, Dish's vice president of product management.
Other items debuting at the CES:
- Geekwire reports Lenovo is debuting an Android-run hybrid tablet and notebook. It will debut in the second quarter between $399 and $549.
- The HTC Titan II is a Windows Phone that offers a whopping 16-megapixel camera, including a wide-angle lens, autofocus and image stabilization, according to Geekwire. It also has a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera. It will be available for AT&T customers.
- Gadgetwise reports Intel plans to introduce 75 new "ultrabook" designs this year. The ultrabook would be thin like an Apple Macbook Air, but it would run on Microsoft's Windows operating system.
- Chinese wireless company Hauwei introduced what it claims to be the world’s thinnest and fastest smartphone. The Huawei Ascend P1 S is an Android phone that is 0.26 inches thick with a 4.3-inch touchscreen and a 1.5-GHz dual-core processor. Compare that with the 0.28-inch Motorola RAZR and the 0.37-inch iPhone 4. It will debut in April, according to Gadgetwise.
- An iProdock for by iBolt, which can dock iPhones with any aftermarket case, should be available in February.
- A Tinke device by Zensorium allows iPhone users to make various medical measurements and monitor them on their phones.
- A Sherpa 50 battery by Goal Zero can be recharged with solar panels or conventionally, allowing campers, hunters or adventurers to run mobile devices in the field.
- The ActionTec wireless HD video receiver allows consumers to wirelessly send HD video to multiple televisions in the home.
- The Wi-Spi video surveillance helicopter sends live video signals and can be controlled by a smartphone. The $119.99 device will be available in fall.
- A Kivic One, available in March, streams video from a smart phone to other devices, like a vehicle video player.
- For those into music, there’s the House of Marley company’s Bag of Rhythm portable audio system for the iPhone. It will be available for $350. There’s also a Guitar Apprentice guitar controller for the iPad from Ion. The guitar holds an iPad in its shell which runs the software for the device.