Digital TV promises high-quality video and audio beyond the reach of today's analogue sets. The service proposed would also be interactive and let users receive broadcasts at convenient times by harnessing the Internet as a 'push' delivery mechanism. The powerful trio will collaborate on making digital TV work across myriad devices spanning PCs, PC/TVs and dedicated digital TV appliances, the firms announced at the 1997 National Association of Broadcasters Convention (NAB) in Las Vegas this week.
The three have already submitted a technical specification based on a slimline version of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) specifications, and said they would work to have PCs capable of receiving digital broadcasts from autumn 1998.
"Digital television will allow each of our industries to deliver deeper, richer experiences to our customers," said Bob Stearns, senior VP vice president of technology and corporate development at Compaq.
"The combination of data and television promises an exciting new world of more interactive, enhanced television programming," said Anne Mitchard, personal systems group marketing manager at Microsoft. "Defining standard mechanisms for transmitting data over broadcast networks is the first step in realising that promise."