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Net Briefs

Apr 30, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Nokia to launch
PVR satellite box
Swedish mobile phone manufacturer Nokia is planning to introduce during the fourth quarter into U.S. retail stores a set-top unit that embodies a personal video recorder, EchoStar’s satellite television service, Internet access and e-mail. The device, which was announced this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, would compete with two other personal video recording and satellite television offerings now on the market: Microsoft’s UltimateTV and EchoStar’s PVR 501.
The Nokia box will also feature an electronic programming guide and a gaming platform centered on the Linux system, which would provide content developers with open access to design protocol. Before launching the product, Nokia must determine whether its electronic programming guide infringes on patents held by Gemstar-TV Guide.
New homes sought
for Viewing Lounge
Universal Music Group is in talks with several cable, satellite and broadband providers about potential distribution avenues for its customizable music video service, The Viewing Lounge. The service was developed with the assistance of Vivendi-Universal’s affiliated media infrastructure arm, Canal Plus Technologies.
Although The Viewing Lounge has to date been offered only to customers of such PC broadband providers as Road Runner and Excite@Home, UMG unveiled a new version of the service last week for digital cable and satellite subscribers. Last week, UMG was still deciding how much in additional subscription fees it would charge television viewers above the amount people pay for ordinary cable or satellite access. The Viewing Lounge offers near-video-on-demand functionality-the ability to select from a small library of videos with only a short delay between selecting and viewing.