One of the big messages to come out of Comdex is likely to be the convergence of digital TV and the PC, with Compaq and Panasonic set to lead the pack, according to sources.
The two companies are expected to debut hardware allowing digital TV (DTV) to be shown on a PC at the trade show in Las Vegas this week.
The computer industry believes the digital PC/TV market could take off , thanks to the high price of dedicated digital TVs. PC/TV boards from Panasonic are forecast to cost around $800, against $5,000 for a high-definition TV.
By next spring Compaq is expected to offer Panasonic DTV plug-in boards for both its workstation computers and also its Presario consumer PCs.
The PC has a big advantage in that it is already digital technology. All that is needed is additional hardware to receive a digital signal to view TV on the PC, which is a relatively inexpensive upgrade.
Compaq?s initial foray into PC-TVs, like many other PC makers, was not a success as the idea of watching TV on their PCs didn?t catch on with consumers.
Compaq and Panasonic, together with Intel and Philips who are also pushing the DTV on the PC idea, believe this time around the idea will be a winner as it will be interactive.
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