LG's 105-inch curved ultra HD TV is displayed Tuesday at the International Consumer Electronics Show. (Jae C. Hong / AP)
Las Vegas— Sony says it will start an Internet-based TV service in the U.S. this year, offering a mix of live TV programming and video on demand.
Andrew House, group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., broke the news at the International Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday in Las Vegas after months of speculation that Sony Corp. has such a service in the works.
House says the service will have personalized channels catered to the viewer’s tastes. He says it will enable viewers to see what their friends are watching. Sony plans to start testing the service in the U.S. this year.
Based on the number of homes with Internet-connected Sony devices, he says the service would be among the top 5 providers of TV programming in the country.
In other news at the show:
■“Transformers” director Michael Bay said he’s embarrassed that he walked off the stage during a presentation of Samsung’s new curved ultra-high-definition television.
Video of the cringe-worthy incident circulated on social media sites late Monday and early Tuesday. In a statement posted online and confirmed by Bay’s production company, Bay says: “I guess live shows aren’t my thing.”
The video shows Bay start to speak, then stop when the presenter speaks. Bay resumes speaking, then stops again, saying the teleprompter isn’t working correctly.
■ClearView Audio has come up with a speaker made of acrylic glass. It’s called Clio and uses a single piece of curved acrylic glass that is a millimeter (0.04 inch) thick. It sits on a dock, which holds the glass in place and vibrates it in a finely tuned way so that it can play music.
The speaker can receive music using a Bluetooth wireless connection or through a cable plugged into its 3.5-millimeter jack.
In a demo, the glass speaker produced excellent sound when connected to a song stored on an iPhone. The sound goes in both directions — toward the concave and convex sides of the glass. Touching it, or even scratching it, doesn’t alter the sound quality, although that might harm its design aesthetic.
The Waltham, Mass., company is marketing the Clio to tech-lovers and home decor experts for $349. It’s expected to ship in late March.
■Intel Corp., the world’s largest maker of computer processors, says its processors are now free of minerals from mines held by armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
It’s the first major U.S. technology firm to make such a claim about its products. It’s the fruit of four years of work by the company to determine the sources of four crucial metals widely used in electronics manufacturing: tantalum, tungsten, tin and gold.
Eastern Congo is rich in minerals, and economic activity other than mining has been disrupted by nearly two decades of fighting between the government, rogue soldiers and ethnic groups. There’s been widespread concern that foreign purchases of minerals from mines held by armed groups are fueling conflict, though many experts say the minerals are not the root cause.