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>New DiTV system attracts global telco attention

Australian telcos eyes new 'triple-play' IP set-top box.


Leading Australian telcos and the Federal Government are evaluating a new all-in-one set-top box and OS that enables IP broadband video delivery, VoIP and secure payment mechanisms.


The box is designed by the Hong Kong based firm Toptrend Interactive and isn't scheduled for commercial release until June.


The set-top box titled DiTV (digital interactive television) enables interactive television and other broadband services such as VoIP. DiTV does not require any downloads or streaming solutions, instead it opens a 'viewing tunnel through broadband internet access' so that users watch a film or TV program being played on a distant server without having to wait hours or suffer poor quality.


DiTV boxes have their own IP addresses, which enables portability and does not bind the signal to any one location. They are supported by a number of accessories such as a remote control that also works as a cordless VoIP/PSTN phone. Other accessories include a keyboard for internet use and a webcam for conferencing and security applications. There are also plans to incorporate the system into stand alone television sets.


Another key feature of the platform is the inclusion of a secure payment system that potentially allows telcos to handle customer and merchant financial transactions, as well as easing the marketing of pay-per-view and other content transactions.


Toptrend is currently focusing on Australia and south east Asia as its main markets in which to establish the technology, where its uses in entertainment, learning and purchasing can be tested and evaluated.


This technology is the first of its kind to use so many features within its operations as evidenced by the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (Feb 2005) where it became apparent that "no other company has anything like this."

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