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TV and PC converge

Tue, 01/09/2001 - 7:00pm
Karen Kessler-Tanaka

The lines between TVs and PCs continue to blur. Where once content was specifically designed for either the television or computer, there is now crossover in information, look and feel.

Though approximately 50 percent of U.S. households own a PC, 60 million homes still don't have Internet access. However, according to statistics, most homes in the U.S. have more than two TVs. Transcast is one company looking to leverage the fact that TV seems to be everywhere and provide customers with Internet access through their television sets.

Transcast is working with Zenith and Panasonic to manufacture TVs with an Internet service set-top box, retailing at around $599, no ISP - or ISP charges - required. Consumers use a dial-up phone line connection, and a wireless keyboard used as a remote lets them bounce between TV watching and Internet surfing. It's enough to make your head spin.

Product availability is expected in May.

CED was anxious to find out more information from Transcast, but got caught in its endlessly looping phone tree where no human existed. Hopefully Transcast will make surfing their system as supposedly easy as their products make surfing the Web.

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