Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 02-08-2011

For the first time, US consumer electronics retailer Best Buy has added a smart TV to its line of own-brand devices.

The company, which recently admitted it has found it difficult to sell the connected TV concept to consumers while the country continues to battle a stagnant economy, clearly believes it can help ignite interest by producing the products itself.

The new Insignia connected TV comes in two screen sizes, 32in and 42in, which will retail for $499 and $699 respectively. The products are claimed to be the first connected TVs running the TiVo interface – minus the DVR functionality which, as in all smart TVs, is still reliant on an external set-top box.

The Twitter, Facebook, Photobucket, Accuweather and Reuters web apps are pre-loaded into the units. The connected TVs also support access to Netflix online video streaming, YouTube, Best Buy’s CinemaNow transactional VOD service, Napster, Pandora and Insignia On Demand. However, the competing streaming video services Amazon VOD and Hulu Plus are not supported.

“We’ve heard from customers that smart TVs can be intimidating,” said Patrick McGinnis, VP of exclusive brands at Best Buy. “So we’ve put 110% of our energy into making the powerful features of the Insignia connected TV easy to enjoy.”