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RealTime IT News

Local iTV App Debuts on Ten

SYDNEY -- Web developer Nethead has unveiled what it claims is the first locally developed open standard interactive TV (iTV) application, which has now been commissioned by Network Ten to use in its digital strategy.

The application has been developed for Ten News and offers viewers with a set top box the ability to select and review latest headlines across subjects such as sports, finance, weather and politics.

"All of the local interactive TV applications to date have either been imported from overseas markets or developed proprietary technology platforms such as Liberate or Open TV," maintained Nethead director Mark Noakes. "Ten's News headlines application is the first to be developed in the country employing the open standard Multi Home Platform."

Multi Home Platform (MHP) is an interactive platform based on Sun9s Java TV Application Program Interface (API), and has been adopted across Europe as a standard for iTV. MHP has become the platform of choice for Australia9s free to air broadcasters who are moving towards digital TV, as the five main networks - ABC, SBS, Seven, Nine and Ten - have partnered under the Federation of Commercial Television Stations (FACTS) to work towards adopting the platform as a common API for Australia (see story).

Ten has committed $500 million to its digital TV strategy and implementation, after digital TV trials got off to a rocky start in Australia with non-broadcasters f2 and Telstra withdrawing from their planned datacasting trials mid last year (see story).

"We are extremely excited to be the first network to transmit a wholly conceived and locally produced interactive TV solution that meets the industry standards," said Network Ten representative Stephen Rubie of the network's new investment in iTV.

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