Web-based TV add-in card announced

ADS Technologies announces a PC add-in card that enables push technology to deliver TV and radio programming to the desktop.

ADS Technologies announced a PC add-in card that allows the delivery of TV and radio programming to the desktop.

The company's Channel Surfer TV + FM card displays Intel's Intercast and Wavephore's WaveTop, push technologies that deliver multimedia news and entertainment content.

Both Intercast and WaveTop allow users to watch a television program in one window of a PC monitor while simultaneously browsing through Internet content created to supplement the broadcast in a separate window. Broadcasters send out formatted Web pages and other information across a portion of a broadcast signal known as the vertical blanking interval. The signal is normally used for closed caption.

Content is created by the broadcasters, sent to local affiliates, and rebroadcast into homes by a transmission tower or local cable companies. A card in the user's PC, such as the Channel Surfer TV + FM, takes the signal and runs the broadcast.

But Intercast, once one of the most-promising projects to fuse the Internet and personal computers with television, has been languishing because of lack of interest from major PC manufacturers and a failure to introduce programming. Only the broadcast of statistics and biographies about the participants of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta has captured public attention. WaveTop has enjoyed slightly more yet hardly notable success.

The Channel Surfer TV + FM costs $229. Availability was not known.