FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For further information:
JULY 23, 1996 -- San Diego, CA -- At the ISA Annual Conference Norpak Corporation announced today that it and Sinclair Broadcast Group of Baltimore, MD have successfully conducted a demonstration of a system for broadcasting Internet information to personal computers using the TV signal. The demonstration was conducted throughout the Baltimore area using Norpak's new VBINET System and the facilities of Sinclair's two UHF TV stations. The demonstration conclusively established that the Norpak VBINET system could deliver Internet data throughout the Baltimore area at speeds of 100kbps and higher.
The VBINET System consists of a Server and TV Data Encoder at the headend and a TV Data Receiver at the receive end. The high speed Internet data is carried on the TV signal using the vertical blanking interval (VBI). The TV Data Receiver is available as either a PC Card that plugs into one of the computer's expansion slots, or as a standalone external box that connects to one of the computer's COM ports. A basic VBINET headend sells for $10,000US. The TV Data Receiver costs about the same as a high quality telephone modem.
The Internet data is distributed via the TV signal, received, stored and automatically updated on the end user's PC hard drive. PC users can browse and interact with the data just like they would regular Internet data by using any standard browser like Microsoft Explorer, or Netscape Navigator. Data access and display is virtually instantaneous -- Web pages, graphics, sound clips and video clips all appear at the click of the PC mouse. This feature opens the door for service and content providers to provide more compelling content than is practical over the Internet today. The system automatically connects the PC user to the Internet for "hotlinks" to data or to other Web sites not sent via the TV signal. This is the only time that the end user has to tie up a phone line or be exposed to the inherent delays of the Internet.
In a separate news release Sinclair has announced its intentions to deploy the system in the near future to provide a new service called "Supercast". Sinclair's Supercast service will deliver Internet information free to the end user's computer. The service will be supported by advertising. According to Nat Ostroff, Vice President of New Technology at Sinclair, "Supercast will be the first Internet application that does not require the end user to pay a recurring price for access. It will bring the benefits of the Internet and the Information Super Highway to the entire market place, for free. In short, Supercast will make Internet information available to everyone who has a computer".
Jim Carruthers, President of Norpak stated "Norpak is pleased to be working with Sinclair on this project. Our VBINET System is ideally suited for the Supercast service and similar applications where there is a need to distribute Internet content to widely dispersed PC users. The system was specifically developed to overcome the inherent access/response limitations of the Internet, and to provide an alternative delivery vehicle where the costs to add users is minimal".
Sinclair is the seventh largest broadcast group in the United States with 28 TV and 34 radio stations in 27 separate markets. The television group reaches 14.82% of the United States and includes ABC, CBS, FOX and UPN affiliates. The radio assets constitute one of the ten largest groups in radio. Sinclair is a public company that trades on the NASDAQ under the symbol SBGI.
Norpak Corporation is the world's leading supplier of vertical blanking interval (VBI) TV data transmission systems with over 18 years experience and more than 900 systems installed worldwide. Norpak is a privately held company based in Kanata, Ontario, near Ottawa. Significant shareholders in Norpak are Gemstar and Samsung.
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