From COMDEX to CES
By David Dritsas
This is a busy time of year. Even without the madness of the holidays, November through January is a bustling period for the CE industry, especially for the consumer PC industry. Product introductions raining down from both COMDEX two months ago and this month's CES are all around. Here' a look at some of what's been going on.
Broadband Internet access seems to be the impetus of all-things digital these days. The leaders of this are DSL and cable services, with satellite Internet transmission as a minor player. But at CES, Pegasus Broadband hopes to gain more support for satellite-based Internet services. Beginning at CES, Pegasus, a company that is a DirectTV service provider for rural areas of the country and smaller market cities, will offer the first satellite Web service with two-way transmission, providing download speeds of approximately 400 to 450 Kbps and upload speeds of approximately 128 to 130 Kbps. Previous services offered only one-way download with a dial-up "back-channel" for uploading data to the Web or sending e-mail. The initial cost of the service is $499 for the hardware and $69 per month for Internet access. The hardware includes a satellite dish and two external boxes, one for sending and one for receiving, which connect to the PC via a USB cable. Current users of DirectTV can use the dish to also receive DirectTV, eliminating the need for two dishes, but there are no bundled service deals for both TV and Internet access. DirectTV users will, however, have a lower monthly Internet access rate of $59.