Japan To Develop Internet Protocol Television

By Agence France-Presse The Japanese government and firms will jointly develop a new television set that can receive images from both the Internet and digital broadcasting, an official said Oct. 20. Participants from the private sector include NTT Communications Corp., the broadband business unit of telecom giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT), and computer maker NEC Corp. Among other firms in the project are Toma-Diji Corp., a digital television program production firm affiliated with the television network Tokyo Broadcasting System Inc. (TBS), and Nihon Sun Microsystems KK. They plan to develop the so-called Internet Protocol television set, which will allow users to enjoy digital broadcasting services and images distributed through a high-speed broadband connection without using a personal computer. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, representing the government, will provide 100 million yen (US$917,000) for the project to cover development costs. "With the new television set, those who are not familiar with computers will be able to enjoy Internet broadband services easily," said a spokesman for NTT Communications. They are scheduled to complete initial experiments by March 2004 with plans to test a billing system and a technique for blocking unauthorized copying. They hope to begin commercial production by 2010. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2003

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