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TV ANSWER, HP TO SPEED DEVELOPMENT OF FIRST NATIONAL INTERACTIVE TV SYSTEM

 TV ANSWER, HP TO SPEED DEVELOPMENT
 OF FIRST NATIONAL INTERACTIVE TV SYSTEM
 NEW YORK, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- TV Answer, Inc., and Hewlett- Packard Company (NYSE: HWP) today announced a manufacturing and marketing agreement designed to speed acceptance of interactive television by U.S. consumers and the development of the first national interactive, or two-way, television system.
 The agreement authorizes HP to use TV Answer's patented wireless interactive technology to manufacture and market affordable interactive television home units used to activate and control a two-way TV system in the home. HP said it plans to make more than 1.5 million home units available in the first year of service through consumer-electronics stores and other retail outlets.
 The compact plug and play home unit is about the size of a VCR and attaches to cable-ready or standard-broadcast TV sets with two easy-to-install cables. A wireless, hand-held joystick activates and controls the system. Unlike many personal computers (PCs), the home unit is easy to set up and requires no special training to use. The suggested list price for the home unit is expected to be less than $700, significantly below the original entry point for consumer electronics such as VCRs or CD players. TV Answer intends to establish, operate and maintain the national interactive television network.
 Using a digital-transmission system similar to that of cellular telephones, the home unit transforms a TV into a two-way information appliance that lets viewers shop, bank, pay bills, order food and other services, organize TV or on-screen VCR programming directly through the television instead of a telephone or computer. Other potential applications include personal message services, educational classroom training and participation in game shows, news polls, and promotional contests in which individual and national viewer response immediately can be televised.
 "HP's participation will greatly accelerate the development of a national, wireless interactive television industry," said Fernando Morales, president of TV Answer. "HP's experience of turning advanced technologies into high-quality consumer electronics makes HP ideal for bringing interactive television technology to market."
 HP has played a prominent role in the consumer electronics industry for more than 20 years. In 1972, HP's introduction of a handheld scientific calculator made the slide rule obsolete. The HP 95LX palmtop PC -- an 11 oz. computer with full MS-DOS and full Lotus 1-2-3 software embedded in the hardware -- gave consumers the ability to access, organize, create and communicate information anytime, anywhere.
 Robert J. Frankenberg, HP vice president and general manager of the Personal Information Products Group, said: "With TV Answer we are at the threshold of bringing together the two most powerful information tools available to consumers -- the television and the computer. TV Answer has successfully moved interactive television from an exciting concept to an emerging market, and HP is committed to driving the hardware standard by being the first company to deliver high-quality home units at really attractive prices."
 Last month's decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allocate 1 MHz of radio spectrum for interactive television use now allows companies to provide technology to consumers that could change television from a one-way information/entertainment vehicle to a two-way wireless-communications tool. Television programming companies are interested in interactive television for its potential to increase viewers and revenue, according to TV Answer. Unlike telephone-based interactive systems, TV Answer technology employs an open-systems architecture enabling a wide range of service providers to participate.
 The FCC decision was the result of a petition filed by TV Answer in December 1987. TV Answer believes it is currently the only company with the technology and hardware designed to operate within the bandwidth allocated by the FCC for interactive-TV use.
 Availability of the first HP home units will be determined by the licensing schedule for cell sites established by the FCC. The FCC will issue two licenses per market by lottery -- covering service areas based on Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA)/Rural Service Areas (RSA) -- following a process similar to the roll-out of cellular telephone service in the United States. The FCC is expected to begin issuing licenses before the end of 1992.
 In September 1991, TV Answer announced that Hughes Network Systems, Inc., would install satellite personal Earth stations called VSATs (very-small-aperture-terminals) for use in TV Answer cell sites across the nation. Information is transmitted from the home unit to local cell-site VSATs, then onward to TV Answer's satellite network hub site in Reston, Va. From there, the signal is re-routed via satellite to service providers who satisfy customer requests.
 "The development of interactive television will help redefine the playing field in consumer electronics by taking the best of what the U.S. computer industry has pioneered in digital electronics and making it pervasive and easily accessible," said HP's Frankenberg.
 Hewlett-Packard Company is an international manufacturer of measurement and computation products and systems recognized for excellence in quality and support. The company's products and services are used in industry, business, engineering, science, medicine and education in approximately 100 countries. HP has 89,700 employees and had revenue of $14.5 billion in its 1991 fiscal year.
 TV Answer, a leader in the development of wireless interactive video and data services (IVDS), has led the development of technology for interactive TV since 1986. TV Answer is based in Reston and has manufacturing facilities in Chantilly, Va.
 -0- 2/27/92
 /NOTE: MS and MS-DOS are U.S. registered trademarks of Microsoft Corp.; Lotus and 1-2-3 are U.S. registered trademarks of Lotus Development Corp./
 /CONTACT: Paul Sturiale of TV Answer, 703-715-8856; or Larry Sennett of Hewlett-Packard, 408-720-3061/
 (HWP) CO: TV Answer, Inc.; Hewlett-Packard Company ST: Virginia IN: CPR SU:


TW-SB -- DC002 -- 3230 02/27/92 11:35 EST
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