HP, RealNetworks Expand Digital Partnership

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Hewlett-Packard said yesterday that it is expanding its relationship with RealNetworks, an Internet media software firm, to develop digital entertainment products that will allow consumers to download music, streaming video and other digital content that can be played on their home stereos and televisions.


RealNetworks, Seattle, will supply the Linux-based software platform for products that HP plans to produce by the holiday season, according to Hewlett-Packard, Palo Alto, CA. Among the products it is looking to create is an Internet appliance that can be fed directly to a user's stereo speakers and TV set through either a dial-up or a high-speed Internet connection.


The partnership is another example of HP's focus on digital entertainment products such as CD-writing drives, the company said.


The partnership will allow RealNetworks to expand its RealPlayer software for playing audio and video sent over the Web to a PC, other Internet appliances and wireless devices. It also represents RealNetworks' goal of extending its reach into other areas such as cell phones and hand-held computers.


RealNetworks makes software such as RealPlayer and RealJukebox that allows PC users to hear music and view video over the Web.


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