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What is it?

The Daewoo Set Top Box (also called Green Net.TopBox & iNet.Top.Box), is a black box that provides Internet access using your TV and any Internet Service Provider (ISP). The box is a little larger than cable boxes that tune in your cable TV channels, and would typically be placed right on top of your TV in the same way.

This unit is something like the more popular "WebTV". However, it can use any Internet Service Provider (ISP) - like the one you already pay for your computer Internet access. On the other hand, WebTV requires you to subscribe to a monthly service from WebTV. That is, they have you by the balls. Personally, I prefer to be able to choose my Internet Service Provider, just like I choose my phone company.

You need a TV,  a phone line that reaches the box, and an ISP to use the box to browse the web.

As for the TV, the unit does not contain RF modulated output (75 ohm coax), only RCA line output and S-Video output. If you do not have RCA or S-Video line in on your TV, or can't use your VCR's line in to convert, you will have to buy an RF modulator ($30 from Radio Shack for a cheap one, $100+ for a digital one online everywhere I could find one searching online). Also, has no "line in", so it must be the last item in your chain if connecting numerous video items in sequence.

Any regular phone line will work, and you can use the same ISP you use to connect any regular computer to the Internet.

The system has a 33.6 Kbps Modem just like a regular computer, and I have not heard from anyone who has updated to a faster modem yet. However, if you update your system, there is a dialog box to allow you to configure the modem initialization string, and thus it is theoretically possible other modems may work.

The computer software is built in, and only has a simple Web Browser and Email Reader. You can't add any programs to it, thought you can download updates to the built in software (update here). You also can't download anything, since there is no hard disk, nor floppy disk, nor any other sort of traditional permanent storage. It is browsing and email only.

This web site applies specifically to the Daewoo unit, model DSN-300A. This is because that is what I own. There are other models by Daewoo, and other units from other companies (WebPal by NewCom) based on the same basic Teknema hardware. Moreover, there may be unique designs from other companies that do the same thing, like WebTV. I can't speak for these other units, though some of the info may apply.

In short, the Daewoo provides a very good picture, the browser interface has very many good features, and the IR remote control/keyboard is very good... but the installed software sucks. However, it's not so bad if you update your software as described  here.

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Questions? Mail me at csm@forus.com.



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