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Nokia Targeting Set-Top Arena At CES

LAS VEGAS -Nokia, best known in the United States for its wireless phones and infrastructure, is venturing into the convergence arena at CES with the introduction of the Nokia Media Terminal.

The Linux-based device, which the company wants to market direct to retailers beginning in Q3, features a Web browser that can be used with any ISP, as well as a 20GB hard drive for downloading and storing MP3 files, pausing live TV programs and time-shifting TV programs. It’s compatible with terrestrial and cable broadcasts and DVB-format satellite TV broadcasts, which for now are delivered in the United States only by EchoStar.

The Nokia Media Terminal also streams Web-based audio and video into a home audio/video system. It also streams audio and video content from an Ethernet-connected PC’s hard drive.

The device, which also incorporates games, features built-in 56K modem and Ethernet connection to outboard broadband modems, and it can be used with a consumer’s choice of ISPs.

Although Nokia has developed its own electronic program guide, the company is looking at others to add, said Rebecca Sabre, home communications marketing manager.

The Media Terminal comes with QWERTY-keyboard-equipped IR remote and compatibility with full-size RF-equipped keyboards. The first of select home products from Nokia, it will be sold primarily direct to retailers, particularly those who sell DSL service, but sales through DSL service providers is also possible, Sabre said. The company is targeting an end-user price of no more than $500.

Besides wireless products, Nokia markets DSL modems in the United States to service providers, she said. In Europe, the company also sells computer monitors, broadband modems and digital cable receivers.