Philips launches computer-free internet connection

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BRUSSELS -- Dutch electronics giant Philips has launched an Internet TV terminal in the U.S. which promises to do away with the need in most homes for a computer.

The Magnavox is the result of a link up between Philips Consumer Electronics Company - a division of the Eindhoven-based multinational - and WebTV Networks, a subscription-based online service in the U.S..It was unveiled at the Comdex computer trade fair in Las Vegas last week.

"Anyone can now browse the Internet or send e- mail messages without investing in a home computer," says Ed Volkwein, PCEC senior vice president and general manager of sales and marketing.

Magnavox has just gone on sale in the U.S. for $329.95 through leading computer retailers and department stores. Connection to the Internet costs $19.95 per month, the standard price charged by U.S. access providers.

The Magnavox contains the equivalent of a V-chip, allowing parents to screen out unsuitable material. Philips has not set a date for a European launch of the Magnavox yet but a spokeswoman said the company hopes to introduce it here during 1997.

Copyright November 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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