Internet Access Products
- Looking to surf the Internet? Email family and friends? Check the
weather in Tahiti?
- There was a time when you needed a personal
computer to get on the Internet. Now, consumers
have more choices: set-top receivers, like WebTV®,
that connect to your television, handheld computers
or "personal digital assistants," dedicated email terminals, game
consoles, and even some wireless phones. When these products
are advertised as providing Internet "access," find out what
- In many cases, Internet access products are easier to use and less
expensive to purchase than many personal computers, and they
provide other unique benefits. But the fact is that these products
are not PC's and they don't provide all the same features as a
PC. There are important differences.
- Before you buy a product that claims to provide Internet access,
find out what the product can do and what it can't. Think about
how you plan to use it. Do you want to see
and hear music videos or late-breaking
news? Play games alone or with others?
Participate in chat rooms? Receive email
with photos attached? Connect with your friends through instant
messaging? Some Internet access devices may not allow you to
do these things. Ask the manufacturer or retailer if the product
you're considering can provide the features you're looking for.
If you're shopping for a product that will give you Internet access, consider
these questions and answers:
- Can you do the same things online with an Internet access product that you
can with a personal computer?
- Probably not. In most cases, a computer lets you access more information and
entertainment than an Internet access product. An Internet access product, however, may
provide all of the features you are looking for. It is important to compare the
capabilities of Internet access products to each other and to personal computers.
- What are the limitations of an Internet access product?
- Limitations vary, depending on the product and, in some cases, the service it uses
to connect to the Internet. For example, a small display screen on a cellular phone won't
give you the same view of a website as a computer monitor or TV. Internet access products
may not let you play certain games, use some audio or video features, send or receive
certain attachments to email messages, or view information in formats like Java or PDF
(Portable Document Format). You may be able to access information in a text format only.
In addition, you may not be able to download information or software from the Internet to
add features to your product the same way you can with a PC. You may have to wait for
product upgrades from the manufacturer or Internet service provider.
- Will your ability to access the Internet be limited in any way using WebTV
- WebTV, like all Internet access products, is not a PC. Although it will connect you
to the Internet and provide a broad range of features, like email, instant messaging and
an enhanced TV experience, it will not let you access all content on the Internet. For
more information about the features and limitations of WebTV, call 1-800-726-9387, or
visit our website at www.webtv.com. We also encourage you to take WebTV for a "test
drive" at the store before you buy.