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August 26, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

European broadcasters and electronics companies are apparently on the verge of choosing Java for the next generation of digital TVs and set-top boxes, report the Financial Times. European standards body, the Digital Video Broadcasting Project, is attempting to set the standards for digital television in Europe and the rest of the world. Apparently DVB, which is due to make the official announcement next month, has picked Java as a compromise over other potential high level operating systems such as Open TV, Windows CE or Canal Plus’s Media Highway. A Sun Spokesperson wouldn’t confirm that its software had been made the focus of the new standard, but confirmed that Sun had been asked to provide PersonalJava as one of the potential technologies. The advantage of using Personal Java running on top of a Real Time Operating System is that it acts as a common base for applications to run on top of, says the company. Potentially the RTOS chosen could also run components of other set-top software, such as Windows CE or Media Highway. This move would make the European set-top standards different to those in the US, where last year the cable standards body CableLabs Inc picked Windows CE and Personal Java as the key software for its advanced digital set top boxes. But US cable giant Tele-Communications Inc has now also licensed Sony Corp’s Aperios real-time operating system for use with its digital set- top devices. This could indicate that Windows CE isn’t capable as a real time operating system, which was one of its most significant roles in the CableLabs specifications (CI No 3,462).

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