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Internet TV (And TV Internet) Getting Nearer And Nearer

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Two more moves are afoot that see the integration of TV with the PC – and the arrival of the web on TV…

Welsh IPTV distributor Inuk, whose FreewireTV delivers 50+ channels to students’ personal PCs, has signed a deal to enhance the service. Inuk beams the TV to the desktop via Igloo, its software-based “virtual set-top box”, which joins the likes of Livestation and Zattoo in the PC- and Mac-based live TV game. It’s targeting the same TV-to-PC bridge market offered by the Slingbox, and Irish telco Magnet Networks this week adopted Igloo’s service to do just that.

We scratched our heads when Welsh-language broadcaster S4C joined a £9.5 million investment in Inuk in June – but the Abercynon outfit is certainly lining up some appealing-looking IPTV technologies.

Meanwhile, a new interactive TV application being showcased at Amsterdam’s IBC conference is showing how BBC internet content could be presented on the TV screen. The technology, built by emuse on top of the Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) Mediaroom platform, goes beyond red-button interactivity, pulling in news, sport and weather live from the web, as well as UGC and social networking. Viewers can share programme recommendations and users’ photos and video. It’s just a proof-of-concept but, since Mediaroom powers BT (NYSE: BT) Vision, may yet be realised.

Many people used to say the future of entertainment and information will be “one box” – but it’s increasingly clear it will be about multiple boxes, each with their own core competency but each with extra capabilities…

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