Finnish telecoms equipment manufacturer Nokia Oy and US semiconductor manufacturer Intel Corp yesterday announced the join development of a range of consumer devices to integrate the internet and digital TV. A spokesperson for Nokia said the set-top box business has until now been a proprietary one, with each manufacturing developing its own technology. The venture […]
Finnish telecoms equipment manufacturer Nokia Oy and US semiconductor manufacturer Intel Corp yesterday announced the join development of a range of consumer devices to integrate the internet and digital TV. A spokesperson for Nokia said the set-top box business has until now been a proprietary one, with each manufacturing developing its own technology. The venture with Intel will seek to establish an open system, however, encouraging content providers to collaborate with the initiative, said the spokesperson. For this reason the two companies have chosen the Linux operating system and the Mozilla open-source browser as the basic platform for their developments.
Other open standards adopted include the European digital video broadcasting standard (DVB) and the Advanced Television and Video Enhancement Forum (ANVEF) specification, of which Intel was one of the founders.
Intel said the agreement with Nokia was the latest in a series of such initiative, the previous ones being in the North American market, with Hughes Network Systems, and Asia, with Pacific Century Group from Hong Kong.
The venture with Nokia will use the ANVEF specification to develop applications combining broadcast TV and the internet. Examples might be running a series of links to recipe pages or restaurants’ sites alongside a cookery program, or appropriate statistics running alongside a sporting event.
An Intel spokesperson declined to be specific on the hardware to be used in the venture. They would only reveal, however, that the San Jose-based manufacturer will be using its own processor rather than basing it on the StrongARM technology, which is more suited to low-power environments the spokesperson said.
Nokia and Intel said product development is already underway, with the first results coming to market in the second half of 2000. The products will be Nokia-branded and marketed through the Finnish manufacturer’s channels.
Though best known for its flagship mobile phone technology, Nokia is also an established player in set-top boxes, which are produced by its Nokia Multimedia Terminals business. It produces STBs for satellite, terrestrial and cable networks, with a strong presence in European markets and making inroads into the Asian and Latin American markets. Different standards are a barrier to the US market, however.
A spokesperson for the group said this operation, together with its display manufacturing unit, makes up Nokia’s Other Operations Division, which represent just 2% of its $16bn annual revenue.