Ocean Blue Software developing solution for set-top boxes to connect to broadband

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freeview-logo.gifOcean Blue Software, who specialise in digital TV software, is completing the development of software that will expand the opportunity for “red button” services by allowing set-top boxes (STBs) to connect directly to broadband.

The company is part of the DTG standards design group which is finalising MHEG-5, the system behind these interactive red button services on digital TV.

If built in to future versions of Freeview, it would allow for a full range of interactive services including interactive voting, shopping, video on demand, and web browsing.

“Availability of full interactive services on digital TV, particularly Freeview, has been limited due to the lack of a return channel,” said Ken Helps, Founder and CEO of Ocean Blue Software. “Over 80 per cent of homes will have broadband by 2010. It makes sense to tap into that bandwidth to provide additional services to digital TV viewers.”

Of course, any change in this standard would necessitate users getting a new Freeview box, but it could be an interesting addition to the service.

Andy Merrett