Interactive TV requirements – Hardware and Software

In the area of service provider, the interactive TV mainly requires:

  •  Hardware – A SETTOP box.
  • Software – Set of instructions (For interaction)


The hardware manufacturers (e.g., Sony, Philips, Nokia, etc.) design, produce, and assemble the settop boxes (STB).


  • Operating systems developers (i.e., Java Virtual Machine by SunMicrosystem, Windows CE by Microsoft, and Linus) provide many services, such as resource allocation, scheduling, input/ output control, and data management.
  • Middleware providers and developers provide programming that serves to glue together or mediate between two separate and usually already-existing programs. Middleware in iDTV is also referred to the Application Programming Interface (API); it functions as a transition/ conversion layer of network architecture that ensures compatibility between the basal infrastructure (the operating system) and diverse upper-level applications. There are four competing technologies:   



  • Canal+ Media Highway (running on Java OS)
  • Liberate Technologies (Java)
  • Microsoft TV (Windows CE) and
  • Open TV (Spyglass).  

    These are all proprietary solutions acting as technological barriers trying to lock-in the customers. This situation creates vertical market where there is no interoperability, and only programs and applications written specifically for a system can run on it.

  •  User-level applications provider includes interactive gaming, interactive (or electronic) programming guides, Internet tools (e-mail, surfing, chat, instant messaging), t-commerce, video-on-demand (VOD) and personal video recording (PVR)  

     What are the Interactive TV services? Want to know it? Visit again…