AOL Targets TV Users

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America Online announced new venues Tuesday for connecting customers to the Internet, focusing on set-top boxes that sometime next year should bring online access through the television. The partnerships with TV and computer equipments makers such as DirectTV, Hughes Network Systems, Philips Electronics and Network Computer come a week after AOL's dominance seemed threatened by AT&T's growing cable empire and deals with At Home and Microsoft. The set-top box is supposed to hold special appeal for the half of U.S. households that don't have a computer, a market that AOL must tap in order to maintain its torrid growth (now past 17 million subscribers).

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