Ailing PC manufacturer Amstrad is moving into the set-top box market and hopes to land a multimillion pound BSkyB contract for the devices.
Chairman Alan Sugar revealed that the company was preparing to enter the digital set-top box market in his financial results statement two weeks ago, after referring to 'a major change in the focus of the group's activities away from consumer electronics'.
An Amstrad representative said there had originally been 23 tenders for the BSkyB contract, which had been whittled down to eight.
'It is a potentially huge market for us,' he said. 'If we are successful with our tender, the technology will be undertaken by our subsidiary Dancall.
'It's very high technology - markedly superior to current satellite technology.'
A decision on the contract is expected next month.
Amstrad already makes the set-top boxes for Foxtel in Australia. It said it would look for other markets if the BSkyB tender was unsuccessful.
A BSkyB representative said the firm would prefer not to comment on market-sensitive information until it had reached a decision on the tender.
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