British firm to ship Internet TV set-top box

A British firm has previewed a set-top box that allows users to cruise the Internet via their television set.

MSU has previewed a set-top box that allows users to cruise the Internet via their television set. The British company plans to release Slipstream Internet Box in the US in time for the holiday season, priced between US$300 to US$350, officials say. It has already licensed its proprietary technology to a number of OEM manufacturers in the US, China and Taiwan, according to spokeswoman Patricia Meding.

Slipstream has a built in modem, plugs into the television like a VCR, and connects to the Internet over a standard telephone line, officials say. Users can email and surf the Internet through a remote control, an online keyboard or a traditional keyboard.

The product has been manufactured by Taiwanese consumer electronics firm Mitac Group, which will ship the product to the US at the start of November. Mitac is expected to manufacture its own version of Slipstream based on the MSU technology, Meding says.

The device is based on MSU's proprietary Internetservice processor chip (ISP) and software, which enables compatibility with multiple Internet service providers, officials say.

The company demonstrated the product in New York yesterday and will give further demonstrations at the November Comdex show in Las Vegas.

MSU has also partnered with California-based Zilog to develop the technology further, and the companies plan to design a single, Internet-enabled television. MSU claims to have lined up orders for 105,000 Slipstream units for 1996, and just under 1 million units for 1997, officials say.

Other licensees in the US include American Interactive Media, Dibar and Vision Link, Meding says.

MSU, based in Milton Keynes, England, can be contacted on the Web at

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