TV Linux Alliance Launches Spec, Membership Drive

The TV Linux Alliance, a consortium of digital media technology suppliers seeking to define a standards-based Linux environment for the digital set-top box market, released its first specification, Version 0.8 and appealed to vendors in the cable, satellite and telecommunications industry to join the alliance.

Version 0.8 provides developers with basic functionality for tuner level and device definitions and standardized API functions for those devices. It simplifies the implementation of TV middleware and device drivers for the Linux operating environment, allowing network operators to select from a variety of vendors whose offerings are interoperable with the common API.

The specification defines a standardized set of programming interfaces speeding the development of Linux-based set-top applications. Alliance members see it as a milestone in the development of a common set-top box environment because technology vendors can now work from a predetermined code base to develop their own products and services while ensuring compatibility worldwide.

Alliance Chair Dennis Thompson says, "The digital media industry needs technology vendors to work together on the development of robust, economically-viable advanced set-top terminals and applications." The Alliance has invited a variety of industry-related vendors to become members with this in mind.

Thompson called for "open collaboration" for enhancing the initial specification. The Alliance wanted to create a more inclusive atmosphere after inquiries from over one hundred digital television technology companies and organizations.