EETimes: Java drills deeper into European DTV

“Java made its digital-TV debut in Europe this past week, as key
consumer vendors came to the Internationale Funkausstellung show
(IFA) to demonstrate Java digital broadcast applications over
Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) set-tops. The demos, which sought to
build momentum around Europe’s Digital Video Broadcast (DVB)
standard for Java-based interactive TV, paired consumer giants
Sony, Philips, Matsushita and Nokia with such leading broadcasters
as British Broadcasting Corp., France’s Canal+, Italy’s RAI and
Germany’s Institute for Radio and Television (IRT).

MHP is a set of common application programming interfaces
designed to create an operating system-independent, level playing
field for broadcasters and consumer-electronics manufacturers. The
goal is to provide all DVB-based terminals–set-tops, TV and
multimedia PCs–full access to programs and services built on the
DVB Java (DVB-J) platform.

Because the DVB specs are further along than similar efforts
elsewhere, the European movement could influence other DTV
standards–including the U.S. Advanced Television Systems Committee
(ATSC)’s DTV standard, U.S. CableLabs’s OpenCable initiative, and
its Japanese counterpart — by making the Java Virtual Machine
(JVM) a requisite element of DTV set-tops and receivers. But a Java
backlash, led by Microsoft, Intel and Thomson Multimedia, is
questioning whether the JVM requirement controverts DVB’s vision of
open standards. ‘We are not anti-Java per se, but we do find Sun’s
Java licensing policy unacceptable,’ said a DVB member, who
requested anonymity.”