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Monday, June 27, 2005
Internet-on-TV Only Months Away in Korea

The first Digital TVs with a high speed Internet function will be unveiled in September in the Korean market.

TV portal services allowing viewers to access the Internet on their TV are set to go into full swing in the second half of the year.

Consumers who do not want to buy a new TV set have to purchase and install a separate device in the form of an IP set-top box to surf the Internet.

Korean Erae Electronics said Thursday it developed 32-inch and 42-inch digital TVs with built-in Internet PCs and will start mass production in August. LG Electronics has also developed a digital TV with an Internet function and is deciding when to release it.

In collaboration with Erae Electronics, Hanaro Telecom, a Korean telephone and broadband internet connection service provider, plans to sell digital TVs with the Internet function or IP set-top boxes for its high-speed Internet subscribers before launching the TV portal service Hanafos TV in October.

The TV portal service enables viewers to enjoy the Internet, video-on-demand, music and 3-D games.

LG Electronics will also start a TV portal service in the second half of the year. The companie will offer IP set-top boxes to 30 families for free to pilot the service.

Hanaro Telecom said that viewers will be able to surf the Internet while watching TV using their remote control as the built-in PC is automatically booted up and connected to the Internet when the TV is on. The company has been trying to come up with a design for the opening screen that will not put viewers off.

Erae Electronics said the Internet TVs would provide any number of online services since they are equipped with the Windows XP operating system. They will be available at similar prices to existing TVs.

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