Intel has backed out of its battle with broadcasters over digital TV standards, leaving erstwhile partners Microsoft and Compaq in the lurch.
In April, Intel?s chief executive Andy Grove declared a ?war for eyeballs? with the broadcasters, teaming up with Microsoft and Compaq to plug progressive scanning, a technology that would make it easy for PCs to receive and display digital TV signals.
Now Intel has decided it will keep a foot in both camps and build chips for set-top boxes and PCs using both progressive and interlaced scanning - the latter is favoured by the broadcasters as better for handling moving video.
?Our earlier proposal was seen as attacking the TV industry,? said Ron Whittier, Intel's vice president of content. ?We decided to let the broadcasters decide which formats to broadcast.?
The set-top boxes made by WebTV, which Microsoft acquired for $425 million early last year, currently use analogue interlaced technology. Microsoft officials say the company will use progressive scanning in WebTV devices in the future, but would not comment on Intel?s chip set announcements. Compaq made no comment either.
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