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Acorn Unveils TV-Centric Technology

CAMBRIDGE, England - February 10, 1997

Curtis Mathes Uniview Products First to Incorporate Acorn's State-of-the-Art Solutions

The Acorn Computer Group plc (London Stock Exchange:GB0000061167) today disclosed details of its cutting edge TV-centric technology, which has been licensed by Dallas-based Curtis Mathes Holding Corporation (NASDAQ:CRTM) for integration into the company's forthcoming line of uniView (tm) interactive television products. Acorn's technology has been chosen by market leaders like Curtis Mathes for its low-cost and high-functionality - desirable attributes for a consumer device. Consumers will soon see the benefits of such technology partnerships through quick and selective access to information on the Internet through television, and by being able to choose which services may be accessed through a particular device.

Using Acorn flashDisplay (tm) technology, the Curtis Mathes uniView products will be able to predict what information a user is likely to need and periodically save it into FLASH ROM, providing instantaneous access to that information. For example, a week's worth of television programming guides or appointments from a personal organiser would be instantly available when the user requests it.

"Anyone who has ever used the Internet knows how frustrating and time consuming it can be to wait for information to download," said Tom O'Mara, Director of Sales for Curtis Mathes. "By integrating Acorn flashDisplay (tm) technology into our uniView products we will be able to save users the hassle of entering URLs, waiting for the modem to get through, and downloading the files. They will have the information they want, when they want it." (more) With the ever increasing size of data and long waits on the Internet, mechanisms for accessing regularly used information will become increasingly important. This same Acorn flashDisplay (tm) technology can be incorporated into next-generation interactive hardware or PCs to download such things as software updates, browser plug-ins, or even video clips. Practical applications of this technology are widespread. For example, a company may want to pay for their advertisement to be downloaded so that it is seen by the user every time they restarts the service.

Utilising Acorn technology, Curtis Mathes uniView products will offer another feature particularly appealing to parents with young children - parental block. Using this service, parents will be able to prevent their children from accessing inappropriate television programming as well as use the interactive database to help find specific programs based on criteria such as program genre, specific actor, character or rating. All of this is done with support from Curtis Mathes' Internet Service Provider, Xpressway (tm).

For a UK-based project called Acorn InterTalk 2 (tm), Acorn introduced the world's first Internet product capable of securing information," said Peter Bondar, Divisional Director of Acorn. "This was developed so that teachers were able to determine what information their students could access. The project was extremely well-received, and it made sense for us to evolve this technology for use in such devices as the uniView television products."

Curtis Mathes and other leading consumer and entertainment-based companies have chosen to incorporate complete television and Internet solutions based on a range of suitable Acorn technologies:

Advanced RISC Machines (ARM) microprocessor: Originally developed by Acorn, the ARM architecture is low-cost, requires low power consumption, and is small in size, meaning that high functionality products can be brought to market at the prices consumers are used to paying for consumer electronics, rather than at PC prices. (more) Acorn RISC OS: Acorn RISC OS is designed to run from ROM, making it ideally suited to devices that don't require a hard-disk, such as Internet appliances and set-top boxes. By eliminating the need for local storage and minimising the amount of DRAM needed, products are kept low cost.

Acorn TV Centric Technology: Acorn's technologies allow high quality text and images to be displayed on television based interlaced displays. The technology is highly suitable for use with NTSC/PAL configured television sets through the use of a unique hardware and software solution which provides anti-aliased fonts for high definition text, anti-twitter software for stable text and images, and software programmable video resolution, color depth and scan rates.

About Acorn

The Acorn Computer Group is currently one of the only companies in the world who can supply everything a customer needs - from hardware to custom applications. Because Acorn's technology is scaleable, it can be used across a range of devices, and can be used as "building blocks" for customised solutions. The company has experience in everything from chip design to production processes making it the ideal partner for anyone who wants to get to the market quickly.

Acorn Computer Group plc, head-quartered in Cambridge, UK, is one of the world's leading developers and suppliers of innovative technology designs and consultancy. Acorn is at the core of some of the world's best digital technology products.

About Curtis Mathes:

Curtis Mathes uniView set-top products plug into any standard TV and provide consumers with a host of useful features, including Internet access, TV program listing, VCR programming, parental controls, telephony, email, fax and caller ID, among others. Initial set-top versions will retail for less than $400; uniView devices will also be integrated into a line of Curtis Mathes premier television sets.

Dallas-based Curtis Mathes is an electronics engineering, design and marketing company. The company also specialises in advanced televisions, large electronic display systems, as well as other new technologies.

Acorn is a trademark of Acorn Computer Group plc. All other brand names mentioned are trademarks of their respective holders, and are hereby acknowledged.

For further press information please contact:


In Europe:

Holly James/Michelle Carney
Text 100 Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)181 242 4181/4104

In the USA:

Julie Plimpton
Text 100 Corp
Tel: +206 443 8004

In Asia

James Byrne
MP Technology Inc, Japan
Tel: +81 3 3358 9800

Sam Kim
ConhanCo Ltd, Korea
Tel: +82 2 3444 2328

Curtis Mathes:
Wade Gates
Temerlin McClain Public Relations
Tel: +972 830 2661

Information issued on behalf of:

Kevin Coleman,
Acorn Computer Group plc
Tel: +44 (0)1223 725005

The above is a Press release from Acorn, and is Copyright 1996 Acorn Computer Group plc.