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TV Manufacturers Support Broadband Bypass

Informitv reports that Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba and Hitachi are understood to be developing a joint standard for internet-connected televisions to address competition from the computer industry for broadband video services.

The Japanese consumer electronics companies aim to develop broadband-enabled televisions that can download and display videos from the internet wihtout the need for a separate set-top box or computer. I recall that HP previously announced a direct-to-TV bypass solution for downloaded video content.

They plan to establish a common standard for aspects of internet TV, based on a Linux operating system. The five companies that compete in the television market have set up the 'TV Portal Service Corp' as a joint company to develop a common standard for connecting to the internet. Sony and Matsushita are the lead shareholders in the consortium, each with a 35 percent stake, with the other companies holding 10 percent each.

The standard is expected to be ready by the spring of 2007, and products could be on sale later in the year. The news was picked up by wire services and the Wall Street Journal, quoting a Sony spokeswoman. The MHP or Multimedia Home Platform specification, the basis for the OCAP specification formally adopted by the American cable industry, was intended to provide just such a standard, but its adoption has been delayed by debates over technology and licensing.

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