ICTV Unveils Cable Software for Thin Set-tops

ICTV has released its HeadendWare software system for enabling thin digital set-top boxes to offer advanced applications previously limited to thick boxes. The system was created to help cable operators offer new services without deploying new set-top boxes or replacing an existing electronic program guide.

The software runs mostly on processors within the cable plant to deliver interactive applications and services, including local news and information portals, t-commerce and VOD. All the application processing, including MPEG and Dolby AC-3 encoding, is implemented in software that runs on rack servers with Intel processors. The system supports Windows, HTML and Java applications.

HeadendWare application servers can be distributed across an optical fiber backbone network. An operator can support 500,000 digital subscribers from one headend rack. The 75KB ICTV set-top module, which is automatically downloaded to the subscriber, delivers any number of interactive applications on any digital set-top. HeadendWare can also be integrated with other vendors' provisioning and billing systems.