Web Tv Makes A Comeback
While previous efforts to bring the Internet to television sets have received a lukewarm reception from consumers -- a notable example was Microsoft's failed WebTV, launched in 1996, which cost $325 for the settop receiver and $20 a month for the dial-up service -- the recent advent of streaming video services is apparently reviving interest. A survey conducted by software company Oregon Networks and semiconductor manufacturer Micronas and reported by TVWeek.com found that 71 percent of people who plan to buy a new HDTV set in the next two years would like to have a media browser built in to it. Most said they preferred the browser primarily to watch streaming services like Netflix, YouTube and Hulu. TVWeek quoted David Mercer of research firm Strategy Analytics as saying that the study indicates "that the growing popularity of video downloading services ... among other factors [is] now driving increased interest in having a superior audiovisual experience for consuming multimedia content over the Internet."