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May 9, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:26pm

WHITE PAPER SAYS COMPUTER FIRMS MAY NOT WIN DIGITAL TV RACE

By CBR Staff Writer

In the race to implement digital television, computer companies have been saying they will be able to get there much faster than television companies, but a white paper published in the US suggests otherwise. The Communications Commission group of Boston, Massachusetts-based research and consulting firm, the Yankee Group says personal computer companies, such as Intel Corp, Microsoft Corp and Compaq Computers Corp are hoping to establish a Digital TV standard by rushing products onto the market that will be incompatible with most digital television sets. The paper highlights the small impact that the combination of computing and television, such as Microsoft’s recently acquired WebTV Networks Inc (CI No 3135) has had on the consumer market to date, and predicts that personal computer sales over the next couple of years will comprise mainly of lower priced models with fewer multimedia features. The Yankee Group compares television sales figures with those of personal computers, and states that 21.9% of US citizens bought a new television in 1996, compared to only 8.6% buying a personal computer. The company believes this will be a big advantage for the television companies along with momentum from other forms of digital video. James Penhune, senior analyst at the Yankee Group said: The chances of building a significant installed base of PC-based receivers in the next 18 months are slim at best.

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