StarSight Price Cut To $99 As VG Unit Debuts - Twice

StarSight Price Cut To $99 As VG Unit Debuts

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In what could be the start of a price war among onscreen TV program guide hardware suppliers, Philips and StarSight announced a $50 cut to $99.99 in the Magnavox/StarSight set-top receiver.

The reduction comes just as the competing VideoGuide $99.99 set-top receivers become available in RadioShack stores in the Northeast. And the war may spread to include computers.

Both StarSight and VideoGuide provide subscribers with extensive onscreen multi-day listings tailored to local broadcast and cable TV services and offer a variety of menu options for one-button VCR record programming. Both charge about $4 a month for a basic subscription.

The major difference between the two is that StarSight delivers its information encoded in the vertical interval of the TV signals being transmitted by public TV stations, while VideoGuide's is sent via BellSouth MobileComm's paging network.

Also, while the set-top box is the heart of VideoGuide's service, it is only an interim product for StarSight -- which expects that in the long term its major subscription revenue flow will stem from owners of StarSight-equipped TVs and VCRs.

Although Philips and StarSight now have the equipment market to themselves, they may soon face a challenge from Microsoft.

Recoton has announced that its universal remote marketing subsidiary is licensing its library of TV and VCR infrared codes to Microsoft for use in "a new product which they intend to introduce to the marketplace in 1996."

Neither Recoton nor Microsoft would comment, but it is likely that the software giant is developing a TV program guide for its new online service, which, like the Electronic TV Guide recently shown by Harman Interactive at CEDIA Expo, can be used for automatic VCR programming.◊[text]StarSight Price Cut To $99 As VG Unit Debuts

In what could be the start of a price war among onscreen TV program guide hardware suppliers, Philips and StarSight announced a $50 cut to $99.99 in the Magnavox/StarSight set-top receiver.

The reduction comes just as the competing VideoGuide $99.99 set-top receivers become available in RadioShack stores in the Northeast. And the war may spread to include computers.

Both StarSight and VideoGuide provide subscribers with extensive onscreen multi-day listings tailored to local broadcast and cable TV services and offer a variety of menu options for one-button VCR record programming. Both charge about $4 a month for a basic subscription.

The major difference between the two is that StarSight delivers its information encoded in the vertical interval of the TV signals being transmitted by public TV stations, while VideoGuide's is sent via BellSouth MobileComm's paging network.

Also, while the set-top box is the heart of VideoGuide's service, it is only an interim product for StarSight -- which expects that in the long term its major subscription revenue flow will stem from owners of StarSight-equipped TVs and VCRs.

Although Philips and StarSight now have the equipment market to themselves, they may soon face a challenge from Microsoft.

Recoton has announced that its universal remote marketing subsidiary is licensing its library of TV and VCR infrared codes to Microsoft for use in "a new product which they intend to introduce to the marketplace in 1996."

Neither Recoton nor Microsoft would comment, but it is likely that the software giant is developing a TV program guide for its new online service, which, like the Electronic TV Guide recently shown by Harman Interactive at CEDIA Expo, can be used for automatic VCR programming.

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