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Compaq wants PC on the TV

Compaq presents its ideas on the future of digital television to a group of media executives.

Compaq (CPQ) presented its ideas on the future of digital television to a group of media executives at the Seventh Annual Variety/Schroder Wertheim Media Conference in New York.

Compaq says that the company wants to produce "practical" devices that make the convergence of PCs and TVs a reality. The recent adoption of guidelines for the digital transmission of broadcast signals by the Federal Communications Commission will speed this convergence. Digital broadcast formats for the transmission of video and audio allow for higher quality than current analog formats.

"What we see is a picture that consists of better video and sound [and] an augmentation of that picture with computer graphics and interactive information of a digital nature that may come with the Web or be embedded within broadcast signals," said Robert Stearns, Compaq's senior vice president of technology and corporate development, in a statement.

"We believe consumers will want to mix different kinds of computer information with traditional video," he added.

Compaq, Microsoft and Intel will elaborate on their plans for digital TV at the National Association of Broadcasters Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, next week.

Compaq may also be preparing to announce its own convergence product. Over one year ago, Compaq says it was partnering with Thomson Consumer Electronics to combine a large-screen RCA TV and full-featured PC, making something akin to Gateway's Destination PC-TV.