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Lawrence Cheung wants to bring the Internet into Chinese living rooms. But first, he has to give the Chinese people a reason and a way to log on. The majority of Web sites are in English, a language most Chinese don't speak. And few homes in China have computers. Cheung's answer is Shanghai WebTV, a company that is creating Chinese Web sites for Internet novices to surf using only a TV set, a joystick and a button.
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Satellite WebTV (01/08/99)
WebTV Networks, Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp. at CES today announced the Microsoft® WebTV Network™ Plus service for satellite and the EchoStar Model 7100 satellite receiver, the world's first Internet TV service available through satellite. Scheduled to be available this spring, the combined service and product will revolutionize the TV viewing experience by integrating the DISH Network's digital satellite television programming with the Internet TV experience from WebTV Networks, including digital video recording (DVR), advanced electronic program guide (EPG), broadband data delivery and video games. New TV Features
The EchoStar Model 7100 satellite receiver is the world's first satellite receiver with a built-in ultrafast, multigigabyte hard drive, capable of recording and playing back simultaneously full-quality digital video. The disk drive makes possible a number of enhanced digital TV features, including TV Pause ("freezing" a TV show for up to 30 minutes, and resuming when the subscriber is ready to watch again), DVR (automatic recording of several hours of high-quality digital video) and downloadable video games. The DVR feature is planned to be available at the end of the year as a WebTV™ Plus and EchoStar service upgrade. "The EchoStar Model 7100 satellite receiver is a milestone in the history of television," said Steve Perlman, president and co-founder of WebTV Networks. "The satellite's broadband delivery capability, combined with a massive disk drive, frees viewers from a fixed TV broadcast schedule, allowing them to watch what they want, when they want. This capability is seamlessly integrated with the WebTV Plus service, expanding the viewing experience with high-speed Internet access and interactive television. This product is the world's first glimpse of 21st century television."
Advanced EPG and ATVEF Compatibility
The EchoStar Model 7100 offers a rich EPG that provides new features such as the TV Search capability, giving viewers the power to easily find subjects of interest from the detailed TV show listings. This advanced EPG also links Internet content with programming found in TV Listings, providing easily accessible program-related information at the touch of a button. TV Listings provides programming information up to seven days in advance, while the TV Recent feature saves thumbnail pictures of the last six channels viewed. Content creators will be able to design enhanced programming, delivered via satellite to all types of broadcast receivers that comply with a proposed specification by the Advanced Television Enhancement Forum (ATVEF). Broad industry adoption of the ATVEF specification will enable television viewers to enjoy interactive television programming on a wide variety of compliant receivers and accelerate the market for ITV products and services. EchoStar's Newest Satellite Receiver
The EchoStar Model 7100 is a state-of-the-art DISH Network satellite receiver that provides customers with access to over 300 channels, including broadcast networks, sports, international and pay-per-view programming, in crystal-clear digital video and CD-quality audio, with Dolby Digital output included. This set-top box features a printer port for printing out TV Listings of upcoming shows or e-mail messages, and provides parental blocking capabilities, allowing parents to control access to Web sites and TV programs. In addition, the picture-in-picture capability lets viewers surf the Web and watch TV simultaneously. They can automatically program their video cassette recorder to record any show they choose, up to seven days out, with the press of a button on the remote control. The EchoStar Model 7100 can be upgraded by the DISH Network and WebTV Network service at any time via satellite. It will have a suggested retail price of $499.
"WebTV Networks and EchoStar have taken a huge step forward in designing the future of television," said Charlie Ergen, CEO and chairman of EchoStar. "WebTV Networks and EchoStar deliver a user interface within the EchoStar Model 7100 that makes it easy for television viewers to surf the Web, send e-mail or watch the best programming in satellite television."
The WebTV Plus service for satellite is a broadband-enhanced version of the WebTV Plus service, the leading Internet TV offering worldwide. The WebTV Plus service provides an easy-to-use, robust Internet experience, offering up to six e-mail accounts and child-protection features. The EchoStar Model 7100 supports popular multimedia e-mail features in the WebTV Network service, allowing a subscriber to easily plug in a camcorder and send pictures and audio clips through e-mail. The WebTV Plus service for satellite will offer a variety of games such as Id Software Inc.'s "Doom," which can be updated with new gameplay features each month. The WebTV Plus service for satellite will be offered for $24.95 per month.
Webtv Increases in Subscribers(01/08/99)
Webtv has reported it now has 700,000 subscribers.According to Webtv at the start of '98 they only had 200,000 and by the end of '98 they had 700,000 this is a big increase for Webtv.
Webtv Turnaround on Real Audio (12/11/98)
Webtv's Steve Pearlman has reported that Webtv is currently working to support real audio G2 in a '99 upgrade,however,with Webtv's small size it will be a little tricky for the Classic.Also java is currently being worked on but may only be in future boxes.Steve said that Webtv's decision to get ther features first was a mistake,he said that the Webtv staff is only human.He explained the reason he said most Webtv users don't know what a url is because this is their first time on the net.For a full story and opinions from experts Click Here!
Webtv shows off Prototype of Gen3! (12/7/98)
Webtv showed a prototype of Gen3 at the cable show that will run Windows CE and have a cable modem.This mean Webtv will run 50 times faster than a 28.8k modem.Net4tv Voice was there and talked to Phil Goldman who stressed this is only a prototype.For full story Click Here
WebTV coming to "high speed" Cable
WebTV Networks has struck a deal with Scientific-America to use "both" technologies in SAs "set-top".The bad thing is you need digital cable for this box and it won't be avalible every where.For full story Click Here
Webtv Users Want Java
In a follow up story to the one below news.com found the poll that users toke from Webtv's Club Webtv thanks to me.Plusother users voiced their opinions on the broken promise.Webtv claimed that the poll was for entertainment purposes only.Webtv was backing out when it was occused of favoring Microsoft products.Webtv says it is unfair to say that.For the full story Click Here!
Webtv Drops Plains For Java
In a recent article at news.com Webtv's Steve P. told eporters Webtv has limited resorces for java and that no one wants java.According to Steve they would have to make a new box with more memroy and raise the price 10 - 20%.A quote from Steve "Most of our users don't know what a url is".For the rest of the lie Click Here!
Webtv And Sega Team Up
Sega's new Dreamcast wil run Webtv in it as well as Windows CE.The new system will be 128 bit grafic and 200MHZ proccessor.Dreamcast will be released in Japan in November and in the US sometime in 1999.The US version may not have Webtv built into it.Sega hopes this will help put a dent into Sony's Playstation.
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