RealNetworks Launches Streaming Platform


RealNetworks Inc. has launched 'Helix,' an open-system platform and developer
community for generating and transmitting digital/streaming-media content to any
Internet protocol-enabled communications device, including digital-cable set-top

The platform includes server hardware, known as 'Helix Universal Server,'
which can process streamed video and audio from different sources before
distributing the content to various devices.

Also, content providers can access a single source code to use the

CEO Rob Glaser said the platform is compatible with most set-top-box
operating systems and middleware, including Windows, Java and Linux.

'This is about making convergence actually converge by getting rid of the
bottlenecks,' he declared during a Helix announcement press conference Monday
morning in San Francisco. 'An open model is a superior model, and having this is
a key catalyst for the digital industry ahead.'

More than 30 companies have pledged their support to Helix in a content or
technology direction, including Cisco Systems Inc., Intel Corp., Sun
Microsystems Inc., Sony Corp., TiVo Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc. At this
point, Sony is the only digital-cable set-top-box vendor aligned with the

At press time, RNI did not note whether other set-top suppliers, as well as
cable operators and programming services, were invited to support Helix.

Additional products and vendor alliances are forthcoming, an RNI spokesperson
noted at press time.