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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 March, 2003, 16:25 GMT
Sony, Philips push home networks
By Ivan Noble
BBC News Online science and technology staff

Sony digital media receiver
Sony's device will sit next to a television
Sony and Philips are joining Microsoft and its partners in the market for networked home entertainment products.

Sony is showing its Network Media Receiver at the CeBIT technology fair in Hanover and Philips is exhibiting its Wireless Digital Multimedia Receiver.

Both products are designed to transport PC-based digital music and video to a living-room friendly device.

Sony's living room box is a small grey device which connects to a television and, if required, a stereo amplifier.

The PC which stores the music and video or streams it from the internet does not have to be in the same room, but does have to be a Sony PC running Sony's software.

The receiver box has a remote control and displays a menu on the television screen of what is available from the PC.

The connection to the living room unit is via conventional wired Ethernet cabling, but it can be plugged into a wireless access point to offer a wireless connection.

Fitting in without cables

The Philips unit looks much more like a conventional stereo separates system unit and is designed to fit in with an existing home system.

Philips digital media receiver
The Philips box is designed match existing components
Like the Sony unit, it connects to an audio amplifier and a television to provide an interface to the audio and video stored on the PC.

Philips' receiver uses a wireless link and can connect directly to the internet itself using a wireless access point to provide access to streamed audio.

Sony's product is due out "soon" and Philips' in the second quarter of the year.

CeBIT ends on Wednesday.

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