SO PAULO, Brazil, Nov. 25, 2003 — Philco, a longtime Brazilian high-tech consumer electronics manufacturer, has announced the release of NeTVision, one of the first TV sets in the world to provide direct access to the Web, without using any additional peripherals or devices. This groundbreaking product, made in Brazil, was built by a team of 80 professionals during a two-year period, with total investments of approximately US$3.3 million). The company estimates that sales will reach 6,000units by the end of 2003.
This innovative equipment heralds the forthcoming convergence of TV sets with other media, enhancing the viewer’s experience and enabling technology novices to use the Web and reducing the digital divide. “NeTVision is a milestone for Philco history and for the whole country, always searching new means to simplify people’s lives through technology convergence. Our major goal was to bring new capabilities to the user, on a greater extent than the resources already offered separately by the TV set and the Web, and combine both technologies in a simple interface that is very familiar to the Brazilian consumer,” said Raul Penteado, Itautec Philco’s marketing vice president.
According to Claudio Vita Filho, vice president of Philco Division, “NeTVision is a breakthrough in the worldwide industry because it integrates all the functions of a TV set with the Internet in a single, easy-to-use device.” The equipment has a remote control and a wireless keyboard, so users have freedom of movement and can find the best place to access the Web, whether on a bed, a couch or a dining table. A zoom button makes it possible to enlarge part of the Web page being viewed, offering a better browsing experience.
NeTVision also enables people to send and receive electronic mail using the Web mail, to participate in Web chats, and to access Instant Messaging by using Windows Messenger.
To offer consumers the best Internet experience, Philco partnered with Microsoft Brazil and optimized a solution based on the Microsoft Windows XP Embedded operating system for applications. NeTVision’s software is part of a family of Windows-based solutions especially designed for customized devices that include, among others, Pocket PCs, ATMs and point-of-sales devices.
Building on both companies’ expertise, the project was fully supported by Microsoft’s Windows XP Embedded development team and Embedded Systems Solution Center. The partnership included training, special support and technology transfer to Philco’s engineering teams.
This agreement is part of Microsoft Brazil’s participation in initiatives that help develop the Brazilian economy by advancing the use of technology to a higher level. “Philco NeTVision is, in many aspects, a revolutionary product. It allows people to access the Web using a simple TV set, in an easy and user-friendly way, which helps support digital- inclusion initiatives,” said Luiz Marcelo Marrey Moncau, marketing and business manager for Microsoft Brazil. “Philco used all its engineering and creative capacity to make a dream come true, and we are very proud of the opportunity to be part of this development.”
Easy setup and use
Setting up NeTVision is as easy as setting up any TV set. All the user has to do is to sign up with any Internet service provider (ISP) and connect the device to the Web, using either a regular dial-up telephone line or broadband connection.
The device uses the Internet Vision, a browser that was specially designed to easily enable users to access news and information, listen to MP3 music and Internet radio stations, and watch music videos. Security features include antivirus capabilities, and also prevent the device from being accidentally disabled by the user. The inclusion of the secure transaction protocols SSL 2.0 and SSL 3.0 enables electronic transactions.
A special agreement between Philco and Telefonica offers Brazilian customers the benefits of superior broadband access. “The new Speedy 600 is the faster broadband system for home users,” said Fabio Bruggionie, Internet Business manager for Telefonica So Paulo. “This is the first major step to quickly and easily transfer the benefits of the Internet from the office desktop to the couch in the living room.”
On a special six-month promotion, NeTVision’s customers will be able to purchase the new Speedy 600 for the price of the new Speedy 300. The agreement also includes free, high-quality dial-up access, using the Itelfonica dial-up system.
The standard black 20-inch screen TV set hits the shelves this month. Estimated retail price is approximately US$550, and users can benefit from the 24-payments financing plan.
Philco is a division of Itautec Philco S/A, one of Itasa holding affiliates. Itasa is the third-largest private corporation in Brazil, and one of the largest in Latin America. Philco develops and manufactures audio and video consumer electronics and offers high-technology TV sets, Stereo Mini-systems, VCR and DVD equipment, and many other devices. Philco was the first Brazilian industry to offer digital audio and video TV sets, 100 percent LCD flat-screen TV sets, and DVD equipment with MP3 file-reading and Karaoke capabilities.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
Microsoft is registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft®
Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.asp .