OpenTV, M@gicBox to Develop Credit Card-Based iTV Set-Tops

OpenTV and M@gicbox are teaming up to deliver iTV services set top boxes designed to be used with credit cards. M@gicbox, an Asian-based distributor of credit card-enabled set-tops, will finance the cost of set-top box deployment across the Asia-Pacific region in return for the rights to deliver iTV applications licensed by OpenTV on the network.

The two companies say the approach would relieve network operators of the capital cost of funding the set-top box. Each set-top box is given a MasterCard credit card through which all transactions relating to the consumer and their pay TV account must pass. M@gicbox will receive a fee for every transaction.

OpenTV will provide M@gicbox with services and products, including middleware Core 1.1, Enterprise Solutions, which features OpenTV Account and Advertise products and service capabilities like launch management and applications integration.

The service will be launched in the Philippines, and will be deployed on the PMSI satellite network, using Nokia 8830S set-top boxes. Initial services will include games and broadcast interactive information to be followed by transactional-based services like impulse pay-per-view and betting.

M@gicbox has already signed broadcast deals in other key Asian markets. OpenTV technology is compatible with more than 18 manufacturers throughout Asia.