THE BIGGEST THING SINCE COLOR?

READY OR NOT, COMPUTER AND TELEVISION MAKERS ARE RACING TO BRING THE INTERNET TO THE BOOB TUBE

He was America's quintessential media consumer: a hardworking breadwinner who settles down after dinner with his feet up and his thumb on the remote. So Tim Bajarin, an analyst at the research firm Creative Strategies, was curious about how the man would react to a focus-group presentation of Silicon Valley's latest hot idea: using a TV receiver to cruise the Internet. As Bajarin watched, the subject waited patiently a full 30 seconds for a sports-related Web page to fill the screen. He studied it for a minute, then looked up and asked, "When do the movies start?"

That may be the...

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