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Interactive digital on the PC

Wed, 01/03/2001 - 7:00pm
Karen Kessler-Tanaka

While Inter-Con/PC is luring users to the couch, a new company is enticing subscribers back to their PCs, offering digital TV broadcasts on computers. Launched just after the new year, the Raleigh, N.C.-based company AccessDTV is hoping to entice PC users to tune, view, record and replay digital television broadcasts on their computers.

When asked why someone would want to sit at their home work station and watch TV, Annie Godwin, spokesperson for AccessDTV, tells CED there are several reasons.

"First, a lot of people work at their computer and have TV on in the background. With this product, they can multitask, finishing that spreadsheet or other work, and have TV on in the corner of their screen.

"Second, the interactivity is incredible. While people are watching, they can receive back-end content from the Internet and chat with others.

"Third, the digital picture is a bonus. DTV equipment currently retails for around $3,000, but this equipment is priced [at approximately] $500."

Godwin says the digital media receivers with the application software will be available later this month and can be purchased from AccessDTV 's website. The minimum requirements on a standard PC are a Pentium II CPU, speed of 266 Mhz, PCI slot, basic VGA monitor and Windows 98.

"We founded AccessDTV to bring digital TV to the already interactive PC, and what we've done is develop a good tuner and integrated it into the Windows environment to bring digital and analog TV to the PC," Dewey Weaver, CEO and AccessDTV co-founder, tells CED.

"AccessDTV offers personal control for digital content with customizable search and programming and time-shifting (recording content on the hard-drive). We are targeting the 50 million PCs in the U.S. installed base.

"We are working with broadcasters to assist them in catalyzing individual markets. They've invested a lot in getting their DTV signals up and running and we are bringing an affordable solution to their local markets," says Weaver.

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