Philips boasts bringing Web to Tube

With all the hype about the Internet, it’s amazing the living room has remained immune – until now.

Unveiled at the International Funk Ausstellung, the huge Berlin consumer electronics show that wrapped Sept. 3, Philips’ CD Online service will allow a TV equipped with a CD-i player fuller access to the World Wide Web.

Coup for Philips

If the product is delivered as promised, this will be something of a coup for the Dutch electronics giant. A couple of companies have products that allow text-based Internet applications to be displayed on TV monitors but this will be the first product to access the Web in all its pictorial glory.

The service, to launch in the U.K. in October, is quite sophisticated, though the technology is very simple. Customers will purchase a special high-speed modem for access and pay another fee for unlimited time on the service. They would receive a disc containing special software every three months. The disc would include both the Web browser software necessary to “surf the net” as well as additional material to make the CD Online site more interesting.

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