Philips Semiconductors has come up with a digital circuit board design that will enable PC makers to build inexpensive digital televisions.
Philips' 'Coney' board takes digital TV signals sent by broadcasters and helps convert them for display on a PC. The board runs on minimum of a 400MHz Pentium II based PC, which has the power necessary to translate the TV signals into computer format.
Broadcasters started sending out high definition digital TV (HDTV) signals this autumn, promising consumers better picture quality and sound than analogue signals. HDTV sets, however, are extremely expensive. Intel is hoping that DTV receiver cards like the Philips ?Coney? will open up the market for converging PC/TV technology.
?PCs will play a significant role as a key platform for DTV," said Mike Richmond, business unit manager for Intel?s broadcast products division. ?The Philips reference design gives PC and after-market suppliers an early entry into the emerging DTV market and makes low cost DTV on PCs a practical reality for consumers."
Analysts believe that the market for DTV boards, however, is likely to grow slowly. Consumers, so far, have not been sold on the idea of watching TV on their PCs. PC/TVs were launched in a flurry by PC makers almost two years ago, but failed to take off.
Philips expects to start shipping the Coney board at the end of next year, priced at around $199.
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