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RealNetworks presses play on TVs, stereos

Setting its sights beyond the PC, the streaming media company partners with a digital technology company to develop a way to stream files via common, home electronics.

Setting its sights beyond the PC, RealNetworks said Wednesday that it partnered with digital technology company Wavefly to develop a way to stream files via common, home electronics.

Under the deal, the two companies will fold RealNetworks' digital player, RealPlayer 8, into products based on Wavefly's wireless technology--dubbed Wavefly Convergence Platform (WCP)--which allows PCs to zap Net media files into a television or stereo.

The move comes as other industry stalwarts are carving out plans to enter the non-PC market. This week, Microsoft said it plans to work with embedded chipmakers to bring the next version of Windows CE to non-PC devices.

Wednesday's agreement gives streaming media company RealNetworks billing as Wavefly's preferred technology and content partner for wireless media application, which the two companies plan to license to consumer electronics manufacturers.

"Our vision is to deliver a great Internet media experience from any platform to any device," Len Jordan, consumer appliances executive at RealNetworks, said in a statement.

A future channel for the planned digital media player could be a set-top box connected to the stereo that could pipe audio from the PC to the device, RealNetworks said. Listeners could then tune into an Internet radio station or play MP3 files from their stereo, for example.