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Boxes big at CES show

Mon, 01/08/2001 - 7:00pm
Karen Kessler-Tanaka

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week brought out gadgets and gizmos and a lot of cable set-top boxes. Some of the notable ones, as reported by Multichannel News, include:

Motorola, remembering the popularity of TVs when they were first combined with VCRs, has unveiled a digital-cable set-top box with a built in DVD player and home theater audio/video receiver. The combo is designed to reduce box clutter and make services like VOD and pay-per-view available using one remote. The box also features an $849 price tag.

Sony demonstrated two different digital-cable boxes that are in beta testing in Cablevision Systems' New York regions now. Cablevision plans to switch out subscribers' analog boxes for the new digital boxes at a rate of 100,000 per month, finishing by year-end.

The more advanced model of the two Sony boxes includes two cable modems and e-mail functions and serves as the main box. The basic digital set-top is a secondary cable box in the house.

Microsoft showed its video-game console Xbox, an elemental combination of cable digital set-tops and complex PCs - and a 15 year-old boy magnet. The trendy looking box will make game addicts drool, featuring an 8-gigabyte hard disk drive, DVD player and high-speed Ethernet connection to support multiplayer action over the Internet. It also features HDTV connectors and a multi-signal A/V connector for TV and home theater systems.

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