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Nokia device blends your TV and your PC

Linux 'Infotainment' appliance coming next year

Could you choose between your television and your PC? Nokia doesn't want you to have to make that decision.

At the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam last week, the company unveiled a prototype of an "infotainment" appliance that combines the Internet and digital television broadcasting in a living-room device aimed squarely at consumers.

Based on open standards and technologies, including the Linux operating system and the Mozilla browser, the Nokia Media Terminal is designed to allow Internet and digital TV content to be viewed on TV sets as well as on computer displays.

"Using open standards is very important; since this is not a stand-alone device, we wanted to make sure that it can communicate with as many other devices as possible," says Katarina Hägg, a spokesperson at Nokia Home Communications.

Due to arrive in volume late in the second quarter of 2001, the Media Terminal is a global product, but is aimed primarily at the European and U.S. markets.

Nokia is currently in talks with service providers about bundling the Media Terminal with their offerings, she says.

End-user pricing for such packages will probably range between £140 and £550, depending on how heavily the service providers are willing to subsidise the hardware, Hägg says.

The Media Terminal's Internet technologies were developed in cooperation with chip giant Intel, Nokia says in a statement.

Designed to support full Internet access and push-type Internet services over TV broadcast networks, initial versions of the device will support Digital Video Broadcasting networks.

An ADSL version will also be made available, Nokia says, enabling full Internet media decoding capabilities for TV viewers.

Other main features of the Media Terminal include split-screen TV and Internet, pause and replay of live broadcasts, digital TV recording to a hard disk, video on demand, a file audio player, e-mail, 3D games, and digital TV and radio.

It can also be connected to devices such as printers and digital cameras, Nokia says.

To support such features, the Media Terminal will be powered by a 366-MHz or faster Intel Celeron processor, and also will include a 20GB or larger hard drive, according to information from Nokia's Web site.


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