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OpenTV Takes to the Skies

Middleware provider OpenTV has reached a deal with AT&T Broadband's "Headend in the Sky" (HITS) service, promising MSOs the satellite-based availability of interactive services.

The plan is for OpenTV to bundle its platform with content from its subsidiary, London-based Static 2358, including PlayJam, an interactive television games channel. The 275-plus cable operators affiliated with HITS can build their own suites of interactive offerings -- such as games, news, weather and horoscopes -- for local deployment to customers with Motorola DCT-2000 set-top boxes.

The service is currently being tested. Liberate Technologies also has an iTV agreement with HITS.

OpenTV is also teaming with California-based nCUBE Corp. to try to accelerate video-on-demand deployment over cable in the United States.

The companies plan to integrate nCUBE's n4 Streaming Media Appliance, nABLE Interactive Management Platform, and an e-commerce on-demand application server with OpenTV's EN2 middleware platform. Viewers would get movies with real-time VCR-like functionality, according to the companies' plan.

Streaming Media Appliance can scale from 100 Mbps to 128 Gbps of streaming media from a single system. nCUBE also provides a Digital Program Insertion (DPI) platform capable of sending up to 40 analog and 40 digital channels from the same server.