PC safe from digital TV onslaught

Couch potatoes in one room, surfers in another

Digital television is not a threat to the PC and nor will it replace computers as the primary way most people access the Internet. According to a report published today, 13 million households are set to embrace digital TV in Britain by 2004. But such mass market acceptance of interactive technology won't signal the death knell of the PC. Instead, Fletcher Research's report Interactive TV: Models for growth argues that the growing number of techno-savvy Net users (18.5 million by 2004) will want to adopt digital TV to augment their PC use -- not replace it. Shobhit Kakkar, business analyst at Fletcher Research, said: "Importantly, this report shows that there is a place for interactive TV and PC Internet to co-exist. The growth in digital and interactive TV use will complement, not replace, PC Internet. "Both devices have very different uses, and while interactive TV services will overlap with some Web services, consumers will want both," he said. And it appears the differences between TV and PC use are enough to keep both media alive and kicking for years to come. TV is typically used for entertainment, passively viewed in a communal household location, and is rarely used in the workplace. "The Internet, on the other hand, is used both at home and work, is an active medium, and is generally used alone for surfing for information content," said Kakkar. ®

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