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Comdex coverage by CNN and

Broadcast from your PC to your TV

November 18, 1998
Web posted at: 2:35 PM ET

by Laurianne McLaughlin

(IDG) -- LAS VEGAS -- Panasonic's upcoming MicroCast product connects your PC and TV without wires, using a radio frequency transmission system. The product has three components: a transmitter for your PC, a receiver you connect to your TV, and a remote control console that includes a pointing device. The system is expected to ship in mid-1999 and should cost less than $500.
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Based on my peek at the early version of MicroCast that Panasonic demonstrated at Comdex, this product looks more convenient for browsing the Web on television, compared to existing set-top box products such as WebTV. Unlike WebTV, MicroCast simply grabs Web content from the PC and displays it on the TV. This means you can use any Internet service provider account and a full-fledged Web browser.

The system's 5.7 GHz-band RF transmission scheme works with existing televisions, within a range of 100 feet from the PC, according to Panasonic. A special theater mode lets you pop a DVD movie into the PC and watch it on the TV without losing video quality.

Additionally, a picture-within-picture capability makes the product flexible. For example, you can play a DVD movie on the TV downstairs for the kids while you work on the PC in a home office upstairs.

Panasonic plans a family of home-oriented MicroCast products, including cordless phones that interact with PCs.

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