At Home Corp. will take its @Home Network beyond the
personal computer in the fourth quarter of this year, with a new TV-based service expected
to sell for $9 to $15 per month.
The service aims to draw not only new customers who
don't own computers, but current PC users who wan to integrate single e-mail
addresses across different platforms inside the home.
Adam Grosser, vice president of product development for
@Home, said the company will eventually deliver the service to other
Internet-protocol-enabled devices in the home. For example, automatic sprinkler systems
connected to the Internet could be programmed to check local weather conditions before
watering the lawn.
MSOs marketing the service are expected to offer discounts
to customers who order @Home for multiple devices in the home, and they will price the
stand-alone TV service significantly lower than today's PC product.
"People expect a television service to be a
lower-priced offering," Grosser said.
Grosser expects customers to use the TV service at times
when they might not bother to boot up their PCs, such as checking online traffic reports
before leaving their homes in the morning.
@Home's TV-based service will incorporate TV Guide
Inc.'s electronic programming guide in its user interface.
Although the service will be branded with the MSO's
name preceding @Home, just as its PC service is -- Comcast@Home, for example -- the
content for the TV service will be different, as will the on-screen visuals.
"They'll be much closer to TV production value," Grosser said.
The @Home product will be available on a variety of digital
set-top boxes from different manufacturers. More advanced set-top boxes like General
Instrument Corp.'s DCT-5000 will be able to offer a greater level of services, @Home