After dedicating last year to developing partnerships with European telecom operators, Philips Consumer Electronics is focusing on US cable companies. The 1st fruits will be rolling out in the next week or 2-a jointly branded pilot Web site with Charter. Consumers will be able to order a Philips product online and receive a special promotional offer on the accompanying cable service from Charter, which gets a cut from each sale. "This is not in place of a retail strategy, but it’s a complementary element," Philips vp Julia Langley said during a CTAM Summit session Mon. The site is just 1 area where Philips is trying to develop better relations with cable. With Samsung and Panasonic having recently announced HD marketing partnerships with cable, Philips says it’s looking to do the same. It is talking to CTAM about having it join its joint HD campaign with ESPN and Best Buy. The campaign would be able to offer a cable subscription component if CTAM gets on board, Langley said after the session. As for Phillips’ joint Web sites, other MSOs are planning to launch the sites, but Langley declined to name names. During the pilot phase, Charter and Philips will concentrate on selling HD sets and HD services. But when the official launch occurs in the next few months, Philips plans to offer an assortment of products, including broadband components. — VoIPossibilities: One of the areas Philips wants to work with cable on is VoIP-particularly the video aspect of it. It’s already in the final development stages of a video chat that works over TV. The idea is to let viewers chat with buddies via video while watching something on TV, like "Mon Night Football" or a reality series. Philips is looking to test the product with real customers and find out what sort of bandwidth it requires. Also on the drawing board are cordless phones with cameras so that one can talk normally while viewing and receiving photos.

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