Zappware Launch Interactive Television Browser

Zappware, a solution provider for interactive television, have produced a browser platform for set-top boxes. The browser uses an XML-based page description language allowing broadcasters and content providers to re-purpose existing material or develop new content without having to use or learn proprietary system. Since XML is well adopted and understood throughout the industry, production houses can start using the icTV Gateway platform immediately.

The platform will be officially announced during IBC2004 and consists of a client mini-browser in the set-top-box and a scalable server infrastructure at the distribution point.

The server infrastructure translates high-level application data into code for the set-top box, whilst the mini-browser allows users to navigate and view content whilst using a minimal amount of the receiver’s resources. The system employs some clever caching technology to make the best of the limited bandwidth available for iTV applications of this type.

Zappware’s iTV solutions are currently employed on the MHP, liberate and MSTV platforms, in markets throughout the world.


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?