At Sony's line show today in Las Vegas, the company announced another new line of HDTVs with Yahoo widgets, the company's least-expensive HDTVs yet to feature the interactive doo-dads.
The KDL-W5100 series will consist of three screen sizes: the 52-inch KDL-52W5100, 46-inch KDL-46W5100, and 40-inch KDL-40W5100. Sony did not announce pricing or availability beyond "spring," and that information was not leaked along with other Sony HDTVs' price and availability.
Successor to last year's KDL-W4100 series, which performed relatively well in our review, the W5100 models' big improvement is Yahoo widgets. According to Sony, the widgets "expand and personalize the experience by allowing you to interact with your favorite Internet content like Yahoo News, Video, Finance, and Flickr while watching TV shows. Track your favorite sports team, check your stocks, and share photos with friends and family as you watch television."
Sony is also quick to tout the new sets' compatibility with the Bravia Internet Video Link. Our review of that device was anything but ambivalent.
Unlike the company's two other series to feature Widgets, the KDL-Z5100 and KDL-XBR9 models first announced at CES, the W5100 models have 120Hz refresh rates, not 240Hz. Since we don't see much value in 240Hz at the moment, that makes the W5100 more recommendable than the other two series, judging by specification sheets alone.
Sony has improved the DLNA-compliant capabilities on the W5100 models compared with last year's Z-series, adding video and music streaming in addition to photos. There's also an Internet-powered version of TV Guide's EPG, compatibility with 1080p/24 sources, and four HDMI inputs.
We'll have an in-depth review of the W5100 series and Yahoo widgets as soon as possible.