Video services

Dumb Glass

12:30 PM -- Quick CES question: What do we really want? TVs with lots of features and Internet connectivity? Or beautiful, but dumb, displays?

Around here it depends on whom you ask. I combed Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE)'s booth and could find neither hide nor hair of the Bravia TV with Internet access.

But even without an Internet jack, Bravias are famous for having more ports than the eastern seaboard. With a Bravia, you don't need a component switcher or a souped-up stereo receiver to accompany your DVD player in the entertainment center.

That's one approach.

The other is to let the service provider, with IPTV, allow all sorts of features (picture-in-picture, multiple show recording, interactive gaming) with software and without requiring TV tuners.

"I keep saying to TV makers, 'Stop building all these things into TVs and just give us good glass,' " says Michael Grasso, assistant vice president, Consumer Marketing, for AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s U-verse service.

Dumb TV: 1; Smart TV: 1.

Tie game.

What's your vote?

— Phil Harvey, Person of the Year, Light Reading

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