AOL trumps MS with Cyrix-based satellite Web/TV system

NCI platform, MediaGX CPU, Philips manufacture and Hughes receiver - AOL bids for the stars

Now what did we tell you? (Why AOL doesn't need Linux - that much) AOL is bidding big in the interactive TV department, but is doing so with Cyrix hardware and NCI reference design and software. NCI will be providing "the complete software platform" for the new AOL TV service. The new system will provide a route for AOL to expand out of the PC area and into the home. AOL TV will be a merger of interactive TV and Internet, with programming provided by DIRECTV. Hughes Network Systems will be providing dual purpose AOL TV and DIRECTV satellite receivers, while Philips (we told you there had to be a hardware sucker in there somewhere) will be building the machines themselves, using Cyrix (or should that now be NatSemi?) MediaGX processors. The system will use the dual pipe approach, satellite out and modem back to AOL, although they'll also be able to handle DSL back where it's available. NCI's software is essentially traditional low-resource set-top box type stuff with interactive and browsing capabilities. NCI will also supply the Connect Server to manage things at the AOL end. So suddenly AOL reaches for the stars, leapfrogging Microsoft. But don't you think those Dutch people are fickle? Wasn't it just the other week Philips was supposed to be involved in helping Microsoft populate mainland China with CE boxes? And now it's working with an outfit that cares so much about it that it can't even spell its name right in the press release. Just the one L, AOL. ®

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