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March 26, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:56pm

BROADCASTERS LOOK TO OFFER WEB SITE ACCESS

By CBR Staff Writer

Instead of television sets and personal computers peacefully co- existing, a new battle of the living room is developing between the two camps, according to a new report from In-Stat Online. Broadcasting companies, says the report, are moving closer to Internet Service Providers in order to offer access to the most popular Web sites, without the need for users to master complex software, such as Windows 95. According to a recent report from research firm In-Stat Online, the Internet market is set to fracture into personal-computer centric and TV-centric Internet access, with the fault line emerging between consumers and corporates. Corporate users want high speed networks for Internet access, but consumers rely on slower modem dial up connections. Broadcasters could step in and offer a made for television Internet Channel that features the most popular Web sites. Gerry Kaufhold, senior analyst at In-Stat says these will be faster than current modem to PC connections, and users will have one-way cable channel blasting, accessing the most popular sites in a fast data stream down the cable line. Kaufhold believes the speed will such that when consumers select a site, it will appear almost instantaneously. Most Internet pages are less than 100Kb so around 5,000 Web pages can be stacked in a cable line, said Kaufhold. This is the migration path for the broadcast industry, he believes, predicting a 20-year lifespan as an interim technology, at least until homes get access to high speed lines. End users need an adapted set-top box, leased as part of the cable package from the cable provider. In-Stat estimates the cost of this extra technology at $50,000 to $100,000. The technology itself is not new, Kaufhold commented, citing possible manufacturers like Scientific Atlanta, General Instrument and Venus. In-Stat claims it is seeing significant interest from major US broadcasters, but it won’t name them on the grounds that broadcasters feel too threatened to go public. The report ‘PC-TVs Versus Internet TVs’ is available from Scottsdale, Arizona-based In-Stat, price $3,000. dennisa@instat.com

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