Canal Plus Order Bolsters DirecTV Middleware


The user screens presented on basic DirecTV boxes, including parental control
features, will become more consistent via a new middleware platform supplied by
Canal Plus Technologies.

In what may be a ray of light for the still-gloomy middleware market, DirecTV
Inc. has tapped Thomson subsidiary Canal Plus U.S. Technologies to provide its
MediaHighway system for a new line of basic satellite digital set-top boxes.

It is also the first major U.S. win for Canal Plus, a former Vivendi
Universal subsidiary bought by Paris-based Thomson last year.

Under the deal, DirecTV will bolt the MediaHighway middleware platform onto a
new line of basic digital satellite boxes.

Middleware provides the communications link between a box's operating system
and the applications that run aboard it, giving the box a better ability to
manage various applications.