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Internet

Consumers Want Most From Both TV and PC

ANAHEIM, CA--U.S. consumers want interactive services from both home PCs and TVs and are willing to pay from $5 to $30 per month for the privilege.

This conclusion was made at a panel discussion at the Western Cable Show this morning, attended by officials from Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, and Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). The focus of the discussion was on how PCs and TVs will provide interactive services to home users.

"By the year 2000 the infrastructure problems we're facing will be solved, and at that point we'll have interactivity," said Peter Ryus, director of marketing for interactive services at DEC.

Near video-on-demand, or NVOD, is one interactive service that consumers are already clamoring for, said Web McKinney, general manager of Hewlett-Packard's home products division. "Hewlett-Packard is interested in both the PC and the TV," said McKinney. Current TV users are looking for simple interactive services such as NVOD, higher quality video and audio, and better navigation options.

Other services on the future's wish list include ticket purchasing, play-along games, edutainment, advanced onscreen messaging, catalog shopping, and links to the Net.

PC users have their own interactivity wish list. That list includes--at least in the short term--links to the Net and online services, local community services, and early multimedia. By the year 2000, these same PC users would like access to try and buy software services, remote data storage, remote time-share computing, and compelling multimedia services.

"We still need to make the PC much easier to use," stressed McKinney. Unlike some PC adherents, McKinney said multiple flavors of Internet applications will emerge, perhaps in the form of dedicated videophones or special home PCs for kids.