Exact deets are still a bit scarce, but the AP recently reported that Sony, Matsushita, Sharp, Toshiba, and Hitachi have joined forces to create a standard for Internet-connected televisions. The alliance has come together under the TV Portal Service Corp banner which, as far as we can tell, is still operating in stealth mode without so much as a website. Sony and Matsushita look to be the major players in the new consortium, with a 35% share each. What we do know is that the Internet TVs will be Linux-based and will be operated just with a remote control instead of a keyboard, although we're guessing that'll still be an option. Despite the lack of details, it appears that things are progressing pretty quickly, with the first Internet TVs expected to go on sale as early as next year, and with sales projected to reach 10 to 20 million units by the year 2011. All of this is in Japan only, of course -- hope you didn't get your hopes up too much.

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Sony, Matsushita and others plan to create standard for Internet TVs