San Francisco -- Mountain View, Calif.-based middleware provider OpenTV Corp.
is offering 29 interactive-television services to a handful of USA Media Group
LLC homes in Half Moon Bay, Calif.
The programming -- including online pizza ordering, electronic commerce and
community-affairs data -- is provided as thin-client applications delivered
through Motorola Broadband Communications Sector 'DCT-2000' set-top boxes. The
system's services are delivered in the equivalent of two analog channels, but an
MSO must be upgraded to digital to deliver OpenTV.
Currently, the services are available in 12 USA Media consumer homes and a
demonstration house the company has set up on a wind-blown bluff overlooking the
Pacific Ocean, where OpenTV ferried VIPs during the CTAM Summit here. The cable
company will expand the application to 50 homes soon, but the MSO has not
committed to deployment beyond the coastal city, executives said.
OpenTV is available to 16 million satellite and cable homes in Europe, but
its only other domestic affiliate is EchoStar Communications Corp. Cablevision
Systems Corp. is testing selected programming, OpenTV executives said.
Applications such as food ordering are charged to the consumer's credit card
but funded through operators' servers.
Operators will decide whether the interactive programming is offered via
subscription, pay-per-use or on a value-added basis to digital subscribers.
Operators also choose whether to offer services that are controlled with a
universal remote, or whether a wireless full-featured computer keyboard will be
deployed in the home. The latter is necessary if services include on-screen
electronic mail and instant messaging.