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  • IBM Japan Develops Set-Top Box with Embedded 3.2GB HDD
  • September 22, 1998 (TOKYO) -- IBM Japan Ltd. exhibited a set-top box with an embedded hard disk drive (HDD) at the IBM Fair '98 held in Makuhari, near Tokyo, from Sept. 16-18.
    There are two types of boxes, one for communication satellite (CS) digital broadcasting and another for digital cable TV broadcasting. Both types use a 2.5-in. HDD with 3.2GB of storage. No output terminals are provided for either type.

    HDD can be used for recording a movie as well as the electronic program guide (EPG).

    However, recorded media cannot be physically carried by a user, and only a single movie can be stored in 3.2GB. This means the HDD may be a temporary recording media.

    The set-top box for CS digital broadcasting is equipped with Java virtual machine on a realtime operating system. It has a 100MHz PowerPC603e microprocessor. The operating frequency will be enhanced to 200MHz in the next version of the product. Java applets are downloaded via CS broadcasting and processed on the set-up box.

    In addition, IBM Japan recommends HTML, rather than multimedia and hypermedia expert group (MHEG), as a presentation engine to providers, because HTML can be used with plenty of development tools.

    Related story: Universally Accessible Non-PC Devices are Vital: IBM Chief

    (Nikkei Electronics)


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    Updated: Mon Sep 21 19:27:24 1998 PDT