NetVision set-top box combines TV and 'Net access

NetVision device will allow users to watch TV and surf the Internet via a regular television.

Welcome To The Future has announced a set-top box called NetVision which will allow users to watch TV and surf the Internet via a regular television. Using a remote control, users can access the Internet, watch television programmes, send and receive email and browse WTTF's Web-based NetZone online service for news, entertainment, shopping and investment information.

The NetVision set-top box will run a multi-tasking operating system developed by Ottawa, Canada-based QNX and will incorporate Spyglass's Internet enabling technology, as well as an adapted version of the company's browser.

NetVision users will have to use the Spyglass browser for Internet access because it will come embedded in the NetVision operating system, says Hamid Qayyum, president and CTO of WTTF. However, instead of being a proprietary online service, NetZone is really a conglomeration of Web sites accessible by anyone with a PC or on the NetVision system, says Qayyum.

NetVision is expected to be widely available in the second quarter of 1997 for about US$300, says Qayyum. Monthly access fees for the service will run about US$25.

The company, based in Columbia, Maryland, began developing the NetVision product in April 1995. It also develops interactive video and data services (IVDS) and networking products. Welcome To The Future can be reached on the Web at http://www.wttf.com.

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