WavePhore said the service will be officially introduced on Monday at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention in Las Vegas. The scheduled launch follows the company’s Beta 2.0 release on March 3.
The free, advertiser-supported service is designed to distribute multimedia and Internet content to 50 markets initially, with the ultimate goal of reaching 99% of all U.S. households using the signals of 264 television stations in the PBS network.
WavePhore said its Wavetop service hurdles the bandwidth limitations of the Internet by delivering six channels of multimedia-rich Web content using the vertical blanking interval (VBI) in cable and broadcast television signals.
A consortium of almost 50 digital media, computer, and software
companies are backing the service. Content providers include Time Inc. New Media, ZDNet, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition, CBS SportsLine, PBS ONLINE, Quote.com, The Weather Channel, N2K’s Music Boulevard, Barnes and Noble.com, among others.
Not to be left out, Microsoft plans to include WaveTop data broadcast software in its Windows 98 OS. PC users who have TV tuner boards can then receive Net content without adding additional costs or tying up telephone lines.