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11-Mar-01 - High Definition TV doubles as Internet appliance - powered by Linux.

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Sylvania has announced a new High Definition TV with integrated Web browsing. The unit is expected to be available this summer and cost $899. Articles and pictures at ZDNet.

Analysis

A couple years ago Microsoft bought out WebTV and started pouring money into cable companies that signed deals to use Windows CE in the set top boxes for their "Interactive Television" products. Many observers feared Microsoft was cementing a new monopoly and would be able to drive all competitors from the Interactive Television field.

This new HDTV set demonstrates again of how far off the mark Microsoft is in the television field. They had the deals, but they couldn't deliver the products. Now most of the companies they made deals with have turned to other vendors, many of whom have Linux based products.

The popular TiVo set top automatic video recorder is also a Linux powered device.

Aside from being available, and working, the Linux products do not require sending royalty payments to Redmond, or to anywhere else for that matter. This makes a lot of difference when you're dealing with low margin consumer products.

©:Andrew Grygus - Automation Access - www.aaxnet.com - aax@aaxnet.com
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