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Compaq, CNN to broadcast on PC-TV

Compaq, CNN, and CompUSA are following NBC with a PC-TV venture of their own.

Just as Intel and NBC prepare to announce a major Intercast venture today, Compaq Computer and CNN are making similar plans to use new technology for combined PC-TV news broadcasts.

Under the deal, Compaq will hook up with CompUSA, a major retail chain, and Intel to offer microprocessor manufacturer's Intercast technology on Compaq Presario consumer PCs. CNN has already announced that it is transmitting Intercast content nationwide, based on its CNN News Digest.

The move follows plans by Intel and NBC to use Intercast technology in historic coverage of the Summer Olympics on a combined television and personal computer. CNET reported Tuesday that the two companies are expected to announce those plans today.

Intercast--a hybrid term for Internet and broadcast--lets viewers watch, for example, a news program on one part of the screen while browsing related Web sites and other Internet information on another. Intercast hardware and software essentially turns a computer into a PC-TV.

Compaq will roll out a new line of Presario PCs and partner with CompUSA to offer a package that will integrate the Presario, sold at CompUSA outlets, with Intercast hardware and software. CompUSA will promote the new system in Atlanta stores beginning in July.

Intercast-capable PCs, such as the Compaq Presario to go on sale in July, will be sold between $100 and $200 above the regular price. Upgrading an existing PC to Intercast will also cost between $100 and $200, depending on the number of features.

The CNN News Digest with Intercast allows a viewer to link to in-depth reports on the Web while watching a regular CNN news broadcast. CNN is also using Intercast for personalized stock trading, the company said.

Later in the year, Sony and AST Computer will also come out with Intercast-capable consumer PCs.

Related stories:
Intel, NBC to cover Olympics on PC-TV
Intercast technology brings TV to your PC
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