Sony in pact on TVs that don't need set-top boxes

NEW YORK Wed May 28, 2008 5:46am EDT

A man looks at Sony Corp's television products at an electronics shop in Tokyo April 13, 2007. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

A man looks at Sony Corp's television products at an electronics shop in Tokyo April 13, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sony Corp has signed an agreement with the top U.S. cable companies that leads the way for televisions that can receive digital signals without need for a television set-top box, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association said on Tuesday.

U.S. cable television customers currently use separate devices known as set-top boxes, which are made by companies such as Motorola Inc and Cisco Systems Inc, which owns Scientific Atlanta.

Other consumer electronics companies besides Sony also have been invited to formally join the memorandum of understanding Sony negotiated with Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc, Cox Communications, Charter Communications Inc, Cablevision Systems Corp and Bright House Networks, the cable organization said.

The agreement establishes the fundamentals for a retail market for the digital cable-ready televisions and addresses how they will be sold with services like video-on-demand, digital video recording and interactive programming guides, according to the cable group which did not publish the entire agreement.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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