|In general, WebTV can be
considered an Internet terminal.
It has integrated software
(including an all-in-one Web browser and e-mail client), a 33.6 modem (new
ones are56K capable), and composite or S video outputs for connection to
The unit comes standard with
a remote control which can be used exclusively to run the unit, but most
folks will opt for the $79.00 wireless keyboard (it uses infra-red technology
just like the remote).The modem is connected to a phone line and the video
output to a TV. When you hit the "power" button, either on the remote or
the keyboard, the unit turns itself on and automatically dials an Internet
provider. The very first time this happens, the box dials a WebTV 800 number
and determines the location of the closest WebTV modem bank. It then hangs
up and immediately calls that local number(for our area this is a Toledo
At that point it downloads
some software and takes you through a setup routine, during which the user
selects an e-mail address @webtv.net and provides credit card information
for billing purposes. (the standard rate is $19.95 per month)Once the setup
process is finished, you are presented with what is called your home page.
This page has several icons along the top part of the screen including
one for e-mail, one for searching the web and others.Along the left side
of the screen are several menu choices, including one for setup.
Selecting "setup" will present
the user with several options,including using WebTV with your own ISP.
If a subscriber selects this, they can go through the process of
entering their local phone number, login name and password. Once
this has been setup, WebTV will dial our number and log them on locally
(eliminating the long distance charge). They are then connected to the
WebTV server via the Internet.
In this situation they use
their WebTV e-mail address for sending and receiving e-mail, not their
It has been suggested that
WCNet mail can be retrieved using a Web TV, however we do not yet have
information on how this
can be accomplished.
Any experience with this
would be welcomed.
Also, when a member connects
through us, their monthly WebTV charge is reduced to $9.95