Royal Philips Electronics N.V. of the Netherlands and Waseda University are jointly developing a household TV server that would allow viewers to watch the programming of their choice at any time, researchers said Saturday.

The device, dubbed the personal channel server, would automatically select and store TV programs according to viewer preference by comparing descriptions of the content with preference profiles input by the viewers themselves, they said.

Waseda University Professor Wataru Kameyama is leading the research team, which also includes Philips Japan Ltd. researcher Loys Belleguie and radio station director Soichiro Ushio.

The server is being developed in line with the global standard specifications for high-volume digital storage servers, an outline of which has recently been devised by the TV-Anytime Forum, an international group of electronics makers, TV program content creators and broadcasters.

With major Japanese broadcasters scheduled to begin digital terrestrial broadcasts in December 2003 in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, the Waseda-Philips team hopes to develop the device by November.

Royal Philips Electronics has played a key role in devising the global specifications for digital storage servers, and the company wants to apply the Waseda-Philips team’s research to its ongoing efforts to develop what it calls Nexperia semiconductor processors — chips that would serve as the brains of the TV server.

Royal Philips wants to have Japanese TV equipment makers adopt its semiconductor processors, they said. The research team is testing the new system on broadcast satellite programs accompanied by content descriptions under the Electronics Program Guide.

Ushio is classifying BS-aired TV programs according to broadcast times, content, genre, program directors, actors, actresses, singers and other TV personalities.

The research team is trying to make sure the classification work will be compatible with the global standard specifications devised by the TV-Anytime Forum.

The envisioned prototype of the serve will initially be equipped with a 100-gigabyte hard disk, but the research team hopes to radically expand that to 2 terabytes.

The team also hopes to give the machine the ability to automatically select and store TV programs featuring, for example, performances by popular singer Ayumi Hamasaki.

Kameyama said, “I plan to ask Philips to apply the fruit of the joint research to commercialization” that will translate into specific electronics products.

“We want to verify how the server based on the technical specifications of the TV-Anytime Forum will perform, so we can present the findings of our research to further discussions at the forum.”

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