RealTime IT News

Planetweb Brings Software Apps to Philips' Set-top Box Platform

Consumer electronics software maker Planetweb Monday pledged to add consumer applications such as e-mail, chat and a browser to Philips Digital Networks' set-top boxes, which are based on Europe's Multimedia Home Platform (MHP).

Under the agreement, for which financial details were not revealed, Redwood Shores, Calif.'s Planetweb joins Philips' CompanionTV partnership program, which fosters development of applications for the emerging MHP open standard, developed by the Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) consortium.

The standard allows providers of digital content to broadcast interactive digital video applications to MHP-compliant hardware. Amsterdam-based Philips picked Planetweb for its brand -- it's well known for its consumer electronics applications software that is installed on such devices as video game consoles and DVD players.

Philips' CompanionTV partnership program is important for the company because it allows application developers to further develop solutions for the MHP platform it has created, which are then offered to potential customers.

"Planetweb software provides the Philips MHP platform with a high performance solution for a broad variety of our technology needs," said Frank Bosveld, general manager and vice-president, of Philips SoftWorks, the iTV software business group within Philips Digital Networks. "This relationship exemplifies Philips' goal to expand our CompanionTV partnership program by offering leading-edge components within the Philips MHP platform."

Philips Digital Networks, part of the Philips Consumer Electronics outfit, didn't stop there Monday as it also deepened its alliance with Sun Microsytems Inc. to promote the MPEG-4 standard for streaming video, audio and graphics. In that deal, Philips agreed to license Sun's StorEdge Media Central to be bundled in its pending WebCine Server MPEG-4 offerings, which are being primed to operate on the Solaris Operating Environment and Cobalt servers.

Philips also launched a number of software tools for the MHP.