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May 13, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:07pm


By CBR Staff Writer

The technical contents of the new digital set-top boxes UK consumers will use to receive digital and interactive television services from British Interactive Broadcasting Ltd remain a closely guarded secret. Toes curled at Matsushita, Pace Micro and Amstrad when pressed for details of the box’s specification. The details are commercially sensitive and no-one will dare speak out of turn. The only details we have are that the set-top boxes have higher specification than any other in the country so far, with more memory and a 28.8K modem. The boxes will have a slot for the insertion Mondex electronic cash cards to enable on-line payment of goods and are believed to have around 8Mb of memory, according to a spokesperson at British Telecommunications Plc. No word on the chip being used or when we will be allowed to find out what is contained in magic boxes. How many of the 1 million boxes each of the four manufacturers – Amstrad, Pace Micro, Grundig-Hyundai and Matsushita – will produce is also unclear (CI No 3,156). The companies don’t seem to be working together on the order though, but the boxes from all of the manufacturers will each each apply the BSkyB specification and are not believed to differ from manufacturer to manufacturer in any way.

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