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When worlds collide

The television, computing, and telecom industries are obsessed with talk of "convergence." But it's more like a massive, head-on collision.


The television, computing, and telecom industries are obsessed with talk of "convergence." But it's more like a massive, head-on collision.

  By staff
  November 16, 1998, 12 p.m. PT

Tuning in: View to a kill
In the war to dominate the Information Age, the Holy Grail is the first screen that will be seen when the box of the future is turned on.

They want their DTV
With digital technology, broadcasters, TV manufacturers, and service providers can revolution the television experience as we know it.

Portals on a new search
If much of the Web's destiny is moving toward television--and possibly away from the PC--what will become of today's Internet portals?

A map of the future
Lost in the new terrain? You're not alone. This graphic shows how everything and everyone are seemingly interconnected.

Swimming upstream
The marriage of new and old media has made great strides through streaming technologies. But daunting obstacles remain for both.

What would you buy?
poll A majority of readers say they are prepared to buy a single device that will deliver voice, Internet access, and television programming. However, most are not willing to pay too much for it.

The new world order
opinion It appears Microsoft is even willing to play the "coopetition" game--the notion of cooperating and competing. As usual, though, its definition of the concept may differ from that of others.

  Tuesday: The miracle box  
The viability of a world where television and the Internet become fully integrated rests upon the once-humble, no-frills cable TV set-top box. But no one knows what it will do or look like.

  Wednesday: Calls to the future  
What were once connection-oriented layouts perfectly fit for telephone service are quickly becoming multidimensional transports for voice, video, and data. Will AT&T and TCI create a new Ma Bell?


"This is a world where telco, media, software, and hardware manufacturers are all 800-pound gorillas in their own forest, and suddenly they're all thrown together."
--Jay Samit, vice president of new media, Universal Studios



"With television, life gets more complicated. The fact that it's so ubiquitous means there may be more opportunities to get access through them to other things."
--Ron Brachman, research vice president, AT&T Labs


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Digital TV broadcasts begin
November 1, 1998
Study: Net an entertainment option
October 29, 1998
Media moguls stand by TV
October 28, 1998
Confusion mars DTV's debut
October 27, 1998
FCC reorg eyes convergence
October 2, 1998

CNET Central takes a look at convergence in the home and the way smart devices could change our lives.

Sci-Fi Channel:
Nov. 21, 6 a.m. PT
Nov. 22, 9 a.m. PT

USA Networks:
Nov. 21 6 a.m. PT

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