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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • [Electronics Show '98] Pioneer, Matsushita Exhibit New Set-Top Box Products
  • October 9, 1998 (TOKYO) -- New set-top box products from Pioneer Electronic Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., are on display at the Electronics Show '98 exhibition.
    The show is being held in Osaka from Oct. 6-10.

    Pioneer is showing off two new types of digital set-top box units intended for the European and U.S. markets. (Photo)

    For the European market there are two models, one of which will appear under the Pioneer brand name and the other, designed to the specifications of French satellite broadcaster CANAL+, which is to be marketed under the CANAL+ brand name.

    Pioneer's new set-top box for the U.S. market has been designed to meet the requirements of Time Warner Inc., a cable television broadcasting company. At present, there are many differences between the set-top box specifications of all the different broadcasting media operators, a fact which makes it difficult to incorporate common features into products. However, in the future some features, such as the operating system, could become common to different types of set-top box.

    Matsushita Electric is using the exhibition to display its new set-top box unit for use with WebTV. (Photo)

    At the same time, Matsushita signed an agreement with Microsoft Corp., to license Windows CE for use in its digital set-up box units, the company said that it would release a set-top box for WebTV by the end of this year.

    However, Windows CE is not installed in the product being shown at the exhibition, and it appears that nothing is yet decided about whether or not Matsushita will use it anytime in the near future.

    The Matsushita set-top box unit being exhibited at the show is equipped with features which include a built-in TV tuner and a Video S jack. It therefore conforms to the basic specifications for WebTV Plus laid down by U.S.-based WebTV Networks Inc., but the product's processor and graphics capability are better than the specifications require.

    Related story: Matsushita, Microsoft Collaborate in Windows CE Technology

    (Nikkei Electronics)

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    Updated: Thu Oct 8 14:48:05 1998 PDT