Start-Ups Linking TV to the Web Talk Business Models

I remember my brother showing off a new device in the late 1990s that let him navigate the Internet on the television. Back then, there were no dogs riding skateboards on YouTube or NBC dramas on Hulu, but the technology from WebTV appeared to be a breakthrough in the convergence of the two mediums.

The frustrating thing about WebTV was that the dialup connection was so slow–at times crippling–that you often sat on the couch waiting minutes for a page to load. Plus, the resolution on TVs then was far from hi-res, and the lack of multimedia on the Web made the task rather boring.

Fast forward more than a decade: While you can now search the Web at lightning speed on the tube, watch television shows online at will and view Internet videos with clarity on any screen, companies are still struggling to come up with a business model for the Internet-connected television market.

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