Sony Adds Third-Party Developers


Taking a page from interactive-television firms such as PowerTV Inc. and
Liberate Technologies, Sony Electronics Corp. said it will encourage third-party
developers to create interactive-TV applications for its digital-cable platform.

Sony said its new 'Content Developer Program' is
designed for Web developers, content providers, studios, cable networks and
other new-media companies. The company has established a developer's portal

to facilitate the program.

Those developers will be encouraged to create applications that merge audio
and Web content, including personalized information services, games, t-commerce
and interactive targeted advertising.

In addition to Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment, other interactive-TV
application and service firms that have signed on for Sony's Content Developer
Program include Commerce.TV Corp., Intertainer Inc., MetaTV Inc., Qpass Inc.,
PBS, RespondTV Inc. and RuneCraft Ltd.

Sony's digital-cable set-top made its debut at this year's Consumer
Electronics Show. Cablevision Systems Corp. is currently beta-testing that box,
and the MSO plans to deploy it to its customers later this year in concert with
its commercial rollout of digital services.

Among its features, Sony's digital box houses an
internal Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification cable modem, a slot for
a conditional-access card, built-in universal-serial-bus ports for peripherals
and S-video outputs.