'

COM One delivers set-top box

French communications firm COM One today announced what will be one of one the first companies to deliver a set-top box in the UK.

SurfTV Plus is based on Cyrix's MediaGX-133 processor and runs the QNX Unix variant. It lets users toggle between TV and the Web thanks to the inclusion of a Spyglass HTML 3.2 Web browser. A smart card lets users store ID and preferences and the small format desktop case can connect to the Net via the integral 56Kb/sec modem, or ISDN or via a LAN. Local storage is optional.

The unit is the same as the one shown by Cyrix at last month's Comdex show in Las Vegas.

Although COM One claims the device will be among the first set-top boxes in the UK, the firm admits that missing the Christmas market is a blow.

"Everyone talked about being ready for Christmas but nobody made it," said Joe Amodio, UK managing director.

Amodio said the box will carry a retail price of under £400 but added he expected most sales to come from projected tie-ups with ISPs and other providers who will give away the product or sell it at a heavily discounted price.