Alcatel has launched an Open Media Client to enable set-top box vendors in the internet protocol television market to integrate with its Open Media Suite software.

To address the demand by carriers to integrate and manage set-top boxes from multiple vendors in IPTV deployments, Alcatel will be sublicensing the Open Media Client as reference client software to leading IP set-top box software porting partners, chipset and set-top box vendors.

“We have been requested by our service provider customers to provide a streamlined approach for IP set-top box integration into the Open Media Suite,” said Ivan Verbesselt of Alcatel. “By initiating this OMC development partner programme and talking to candidate porting and licensing partners, we provide a clear technical interface to the IP set-top box vendor community, and are taking a true end-to-end solution responsibility.”

The move was welcomed by Helmut Leopold of Telekom Austria. “Standardized solutions are a prerequisite for the mass market success of triple-play services. Therefore, any approach such as that announced by Alcatel is greatly welcomed by us.”

Alcatel has signed up user interface and embedded browser provider ANT as the first partner for its Open Media Developer Programme.

“Through the pre-integrated combination of our technologies, we can provide all functions needed in a fully featured IPTV environment in a single, turn-key, delivery,” commented Simon Woodward, president and chief executive of ANT, whose customers include Thomson, Pace, Philips, Amino, Samsung and Sagem.

Alcatel has also entered into a global reseller agreement with Widevine to provide content encryption, including their Virtual SmartCard solution. The two companies have worked together on a major IPTV project with Chunghwa Telecom. “The cooperation for Chunghwa Telecom was the catalyst for getting this deal done,” according to John Hoskins who is responsible for marketing and sales at Widevine Technologies.