RealTime IT News

Grundig Partners Netgem for Interactive Set-Top Box Technology

[London, ENGLAND] European consumer electronics giant Grundig, one of the most famous names in TV manufacturing, announced Thursday a deal to integrate Netgem's interactive technology into its Internet set-top boxes.

Harald Klippel, marketing director of Grundig, said the agreement would allow his firm to launch its Internet set-top boxes and build further momentum with a new range of interactive appliances.

"Both companies are convinced that the future user of Internet applications will not only use the PC but also a 'TV typical' access in the living area at home in order to obtain full interactivity and surf the World Wide Web," said Klippel.

Dr. Thorsten Herfet, director of basic R&D at Grundig, said the agreement covered a whole range of interactive products, including Internet set-top boxes, TVs and other appliances.

Grundig disclosed that it intends to market its new interactive products throughout Europe and in non-European countries.

Apart from all the hardware, Grundig is also keen on providing services via the set-top boxes, and says it will port its Events Today service to television, now that it has the appropriate technology. Events Today is already available over the Internet in German and English.

Speaking for Netgem, Chief Executive Joseph Haddad said the agreement demonstrated Netgem's ability to integrate its technology according to the demanding requirements of leading consumer electronics manufacturers.

Founded in 1996, Netgem has become a major European supplier of solutions for Internet access via television. It has been quoted on the Paris Stock Exchange New Market since April 2000 and was included into the French SBF 250 index earlier this month.

Netgem has developed its technology to enable everyone with a television set to access the Internet. Its system operates on a Linux-based open software platform and a thin-client access device.

Among Netgem's main customers are Italian TV Internet portal ITN Freedomland, U.K. digital television provider ONdigital, and Profilo, the first large scale manufacturer of Internet television sets.