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December 7, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 7:07pm

INTEL CORP COMPROMISES OVER DIGITAL TELEVISION

By CBR Staff Writer

Compaq Computer Corp, Microsoft Corp and Intel Corp came out with all guns blazing back in April this year, when they challenged the television industry to change their plans for digital television, so as to make them more compatible with personal computer technology (CI No 3,137). But now Intel appears to be backing down with the launch of its own Open Digital Broadcast Initiative, saying it now intends to adopt all 18 of the proposed technical standards for displaying digital transmissions. The trio, under the Digital TV Team name, had previously proposed to whittle those down to three, in a move that the television industry interpreted as a restrictive attempt to push broadcasters into adopting a computer based model for digital TV. Intel said the revised specification was designed to address the criticism of broadcasters, specifically the Advanced Television Systems Committee, which sets broadcast television standards. Intel said its aim was to develop a range of devices ranging from set-top boxes to home theater packages, which would be capable of receiving digital signals regardless of the means of transport. The company also unveiled a number of prototype devices for receiving digital signals from cable, satellite and terrestrial sources, which it’s developing in co-operation with consumer television giant Hitachi Ltd. Intel said it was also working with several of the major satellite and cable broadcasters including Viacom-owned Nickleodeon. The semiconductor company also announced that it has applied for a federal license to conduct low-power tests of its digital TV products, which will be performed on a rotating series of vacant channels. Is it a U-turn? An Intel spokesperson commented: We’ve taken a more pragmatic approach. We believe broadcasters should be free to experiment with different formats, we hope this will help bring digital equipment to market faster. Neither Compaq or Microsoft had returned our calls on the subject by press time.

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