Hewlett Packard (HP) and internet media software company RealNetworks said they will work together to develop digital entertainment products that let consumers download music, streaming video and other digital content.
HP will bring its consumer technology product expertise, along with its customer base, while RealNetworks will provide a Linux-based software platform that integrates RealPlayer and RealJukebox as the framework for the products and services slated for delivery later this year.
The partnership is part of HP's increasing focus on digital entertainment products such as CD-writing devices, and could include products with lots of memory and an interface like a remote control.
One device is expected to be an internet appliance that can directly feed to a user's stereo speakers and television set through either a dial-up or high-speed web connection.
Pradeep Jotwani, president of HP's Consumer Business Group, said: "As the computing and entertainment worlds converge, consumers are looking for ways to enhance their entertainment experience."
"Extending our leading technologies from the home office into other consumer products throughout the home is a natural next step for HP," Jotwani added, explaining that the final products from the alliance may sit in an entertainment centre hooked to a television and connected direct to the internet without the need for a PC.
Len Jordan, senior vice president of consumer appliances at RealNetworks, said that through the relationship with HP, RealNetworks will be able to offer its popular RealPlayer software for playing audio and video over the internet to a PC, other web appliances and other wireless devices.
Most digital music and video is downloaded and played from the internet using a PC. Several other PC vendors, such as Compaq and Dell, have been developing home entertainment systems that use the web.
RealNetworks main rival in providing internet media software is Microsoft.
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