A new technology developed by a small company in Montreal, Canada, provides a glimpse of the type of news delivery we might one day have access to on the Internet. The technology - a television news delivery system - allows organisations to store and process news signals from a television or video source. Users are able to set up guidelines for the type of news they are interested in and whenever a news story is broadcast which meets their criterion, the system - which acts as an intelligent agent - informs the users who can then watch the stored video footage on their computers. The system uses closed-caption signals to build a text database of the stored video and is built on a custom server which runs into tens of thousands of US dollars per system and hundreds of dollars per seat for the client environment - just to index and deliver a single television channel. Delivering more than just CNN or the BBC World Service quickly becomes very expensive. Clearly aimed at large organisations which rely on timely news, the system provides a glimpse into the future of television. Right now, it requires a high-speed local network made possible by ethernet or LAN technology to deliver the signals to the desktop. Today most places in the world lack the high bandwidth of LANs coming directly into the home, but in US, and elsewhere, that type of bandwidth may be commonplace sooner than we expect, especially if cable companies become major Internet providers. Once this happens, it enables companies such as cable providers, telephone companies and large Internet providers to offer this type of service to their customers. The server can sit at the provider's site and feed a geographically dispersed customer base on high-speed Internet connections. In fact, the word on the street is that one of Canada's national phone companies is looking at deploying the system. This amounts to an innovative cross between video-on-demand and regular television. In this scenario, regular television signals are stored, archived and made available on demand. Users can set up intelligent agents to search vast incoming television data streams. A city like Hong Kong is ideally suited to adopt this technology in a widespread manner. Hongkong Telecom and its efforts with video-on-demand prove, if nothing else, that the bandwidth and server technology exists to deliver this type of service here. It is not unreasonable to have whole housing estates wired with the technology to deliver database-archived television news to everyone with PCs in Hong Kong. The day may not be far away when the nature of television changes. Rather than the Web being the death of television as some pundits predict, it seems that networking technology like that used on the Internet may instead mean television will come to its maturity. Just as the Web and text-based Internet technologies promise to help newspapers and wire services reach their full potential as fully-searchable archived information resources, with the type of technology now being offered by a Canadian company, television can reach the same level. Rather than a single stream of information, stories can be stored and indexed for users to obtain on demand or when their intelligent agents tell them the information is available.