Time Warner: Ready, Set, Interactive
AFTER A LONG DRUMROLL, Time Warner unveiled its first fully interactive cable system on Dec. 14 in Orlando. Chairman Gerald Levin held an elaborate daylong demonstration to show off a system that delivers movies, home shopping, and video games at the touch of a button. After months of delays and questions about the technology, the fact that the system functioned smoothly is a victory of sorts. But to build a real business, Time Warner must reduce the cost of the system's set-top box. Consumers probably won't be willing to pay more than $300 per box, estimates Edward McCracken, CEO of Silicon Graphics, which supplies most of the system's software. The boxes currently cost far more than that.
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