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Time Warner's Full Service Network is the Cadillac of interactive-TV tests -- and surprisingly fun to drive

It was, if nothing else, a smooth presentation. Remote control in hand, Time Warner chairman Gerald Levin last week greeted a crowd of skeptical reporters in an Orlando, Florida, hotel ballroom, then pushed the "on" button and, with the help of Jim Chiddix, Time Warner Cable's technology chief, began the first public demonstration of the world's most sophisticated -- and expensive -- interactive-TV system.

Nearly two years have passed since Levin announced Time Warner's plan to invest $5 billion over five years for construction of what he called the Full Service Network. Within 18 months, he promised, his company would begin...

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