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AccessDTV tackles PCs

AccessDTV, a Raleigh, N.C.-based start-up that counts HDTV pioneer Capitol Broadcasting as an investor, plans to unveil a DTV-on-the-PC system this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

AccessDTV plans to sell "digital media receivers"-comprising a PCI card, bundled antenna, and application software that will run on standard PCs-for less than $500. The company also plans to offer such services as interactive program guide, personal video recording and real-time chats in the future, according to CEO Dewey Weaver, a former NEC executive.

The AccessDTV system, which relies on 8-VSB demodulation technology from NxtWave Communications, has already been tested at WRAL-DT Raleigh, Capitol's flagship station. AccessDTV plans to launch in Raleigh this quarter, with a nationwide rollout by year-end.