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Sony and Comcast join forces to open outlet

DESPITE the poor economy, Comcast Corp and Sony Corp plan to open a retail store tomorrow.

The cable TV operator and the electronics firm will use the store to showcase new technologies and products, taking a page from Apple Inc, as Microsoft Corp might also soon try to do.

The store will be called Sony StyleComcast Labs and ensconced in the Comcast Center, the newest skyscraper in Philadelphia and headquarters of the United State's largest cable operator.

The store will show off such things as home broadband equipment that would enable people to surf at 100 megabits per second - roughly 17 times the average speed of cable broadband. Comcast plans to roll out service that fast by year's end.

Sony will display a new TV running Comcast's TV interface. It uses Tru2way, which is software that cable providers are rolling out to standardize their systems so the same set-top box can work with any cable operator. The store also will sell Sony PlayStations, laptops, cameras and camcorders.

Robert Faught, senior vice president of retail and alternate channel sales at Comcast, said Comcast has no plans for now to open more stores.



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