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CES: Netflix button coming to remote controls

Netflix told CES attendees Tuesday that it would soon be available on remote controllers that operate Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray disc players and other devices, enabling subcribers to access movies with one click.

Netflix Inc. said consumer electronics companies would begin selling remotes this spring with “Netflix” buttons — including some featuring the red Netflix logo. The companies include Sharp, Sony and Toshiba.

Google TV faces delays amid poor reviews

From the New York Times News Service | The Consumer Electronics Show next month in Las Vegas was meant to be the great coming-out party for Google’s new software for televisions, which adds Web video and other computer smarts to TV sets. Although Google already has a deal with Sony for its Internet TVs, other television makers — Toshiba, LG Electronics and Sharp — were prepared to flaunt their versions of the systems.

But Google has asked the TV makers to delay their introductions, according to people familiar with the company’s plans, so that it can refine the software, which has received a lukewarm reception. The late request caught some of the manufacturers off guard. And it illustrates the struggles Google faces as it tries to expand into the tricky, unfamiliar realm of consumer electronics, and drum up broad interest in a Web-based TV product that consumers want. Get the full story »

Sales of 3-D, Web-enabled TVs fall flat

New features such as 3-D screens and Internet connectivity have not inspired  U.S. television shoppers, dashing a hoped-for recovery in the global consumer electronics industry.

TV manufacturers such as Sony Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and Sharp Corp. are learning that features such as razor-thin LED TVs are not enough to stage a comeback in the United States. Get the full story »

Toshiba to bring tablet to U.S. early next year

Toshiba Corp. plans to release new tablet devices in the U.S., Japan and elsewhere early next year, a top engineer at the company involved in the development of tablet computers told Dow Jones Newswires Tuesday.

“The market for tablets is very hot right now,” said Hideo Kasuya on the sidelines of the annual Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies, near Tokyo. Get the full story »

LCD makers hit with lawsuit for alleged price-fixing

The Illinois Attorney General’s office said it filed suit Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court against 22 major companies for allegedly fixing the prices of liquid crystal display screens used in computers, televisions and cell phones.

The companies named in the lawsuit include Hitachi, Ltd., Epson Imaging Devices Corp., LG Display Co., Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Sharp Corp., and Toshiba Corp.

In addition to seeking to stop the alleged activity, the suit asks the court to award as damages the overcharges paid on purchases of the affected items. Get the full story »

Sony leads upswing in Japanese electronics firms

Sony Corp. lifted its annual outlook and returned to profitability in the first quarter on booming demand for its Bravia flat TVs and PlayStation 3 game consoles.

Rivals Panasonic Corp. and Sharp Corp. also reported profits for April-to-June versus losses a year ago, while Panasonic joined Sony in upgrading its forecast as both cashed in on growing sales in emerging markets. Get the full story »