Internet enabled DVD players are on their way with the help of Nuon

According to an article on CNet, the Internet may soon be riding into U.S. homes on the coattails of your DVD player. DVD players from the likes of Samsung and Toshiba will start to act more like a PC and should be hitting the market soon. Through the use of chip technology called Nuon which can add not only Internet access, but full interactivity to DVD players, Samsung will offer a new $499 DVD player this quarter that will enable users to play games with graphics capabilities equal to that of current game console systems. Samsung said that later this year users will also be able to access the Internet.

Toshiba has announced support for the technology but hasn’t yet said when it will ship a product. With DVD players as one of the hot consumer electronics items of 1999 and probably of 2000 as well, companies offering Internet access devices such as America Online and WebTV as well as PC companies offering simplified Web browsing terminals may all be facing a formidable new competitor for consumers’ dollars. By building in new interactive features, DVD players may attract a large number of consumers–and a large chunk of market share–who are looking for an easy way to get games and Internet access in their homes. If even only a small fraction of the total players sold interactive technology, consumer electronics companies could soon wind up with a subscriber base comparable to that of WebTV, which has been on the market since 1996.

Nuon is a chip designed by VM Labs has designed a chip that basically combines a high-powered graphics chip with an MPEG chip that’s used for playing back movies into one piece of inexpensive silicon. Instead of making money on the chip, VM Labs hopes to make money off royalties from software and DVD discs that use its technology. The company hopes this strategy will help the technology come into widespread use at a faster pace.

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