Samsung Teams Up with Time Warner


Samsung Electronics America Inc. said it signed a memorandum of understanding with Time Warner Cable that will lead to the development of two-way digital-cable-ready televisions that will enable interactive-TV applications without the need for set-tops.

The companies plan to detail their plans at a press conference on Thursday in Las Vegas, near the Consumer Electronics Show.

Samsung said the new televisions it will manufacture will comply with Cable Television Laboratories Inc.’s OpenCable Applications Platform.

Samsung and other consumer-electronics manufacturers have been negotiating terms for a two-way digital-cable-ready standard with cable and direct-broadcast satellite providers, but no agreement has been reached after more than one year of talks. Samsung has decided to manufacture the first two-way digital-cable-ready TVs before a standard is in place.

The first one-way digital-cable-ready TVs -- hatched as a result of a plug-and-play agreement cable MSOs and consumer-electronics vendors signed in December 2002 -- began shipping last year.

But those one-way sets -- manufactured by Panasonic Consumer Electronics, Sharp Corp., Samsung and other vendors -- require the use of digital set-tops to enable interactive applications such as video-on-demand.