WALL STREET JOURNAL
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HEADLINE: HOMPUTER - NY INVENTOR IMRAN ANWAR MELDS COMPUTERS & TV
Manhattan, New York, based inventor and Internet pioneer Imran Anwar designs and licences device, HOMPUTER, enabling modern computers to use home televisions for a convergence experience, enabling low cost homeputer/home computing.
By JOAN E. RIGDON
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
The Internet is starting to look the way interactive television was supposed to look.
Two years ago, cable, phone and computer companies formed a dizzying array of alliances that promised to use cable to bring video home-shopping and video-on-demand to the couch potatoes of America and Europe via the tube. Trials were announced, delayed and folded. Only a few produced paying customers.
Now some of the same companies, including Thne Warner Inc., Tele-Communications Inc. and Oracle Corp., are rallying around the Internet's multimedia World Wide Web as a way to quickly and cheaply provide a watered-down version of interactive television to the masses.
Video-on-demand won't be included because it can't be delivered without massive computing power. But ultrafast cable modems and digital phone lines are expected to be more widely available next year, and an Internet-based service could pipe video such as the evening news and sports shorts - plus highly visual home-shopping and home-banking services, recipes, academic papers and other current Internet offerings - into a personal computer or even a standard TV monitor.
Viacom recently joined a group led by Intel Corp. that aims to develop a cheap way to enable PCs to read TV signals so that PC users will be able to read Web pages containing TV broadcasts. NII Norsat International Inc.'s new DirectPC unit would use satellite dishes to download compressed broadcasts and other huge files into a set-top box connected to a PC. A Time Warner trial in Elmira, N.Y., already offers Internet access via cable modems to 200 subscribers of America Online Inc. and CompuServe Inc. TCI offers cable access to America Online subscribers in Castroville, Calif., and is helping to introduce a new, high-speed Internet access service called Home. It is also backing a Lansing, Mich., cable TV show that displays Web sites over television.
On the hardware side, Manhattan inventor Imran Anwar says he plans to begin shipping next year a $500 computer that will dial up the Internet and display it on television. Oracle says its planned Internet machine - a stripped-down PC whose sole purpose is to browse the Net - will be able to connect to cable modems and TV monitors. Oracle won't build the devices.
ViewCall Europe PLC of London says it has developed a box that will not only display the Web on TV but will also allow users to navigate with six buttons on a remote control. The box will come with a remote-control version of Netscape Com-
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