Interactive TV software company OpenTV has signed a licence agreement with Channel Nine in Australia for playout systems.

The licence covers two headend systems consisting of OpenTV H20 and OpenTV Streamer.

OpenTV says the solution will allow Channel Nine to publish content that can be viewed across both digital terrestrial television and the Foxtel pay television platform.

“The benefit of using the OpenTV H2O solution is that Nine is able to author once in open standards HTML and then publish to both the digital free-to-air and Foxtel platforms.” said Veronica Chalom, director of digital for Channel Nine.

OpenTV H20 allows applications to be created using extensions to HTML and JavaScript. The resulting applications are rendered by an OpenTV H20 client on Foxtel set-top boxes that support OpenTV’s proprietary middleware.

The OpenTV systems will only be used to target OpenTV set-top boxes. An OpenTV representative confirmed to informitv that “Channel Nine in Australia is using OpenTV H2O exclusively to develop the interactive content for the Foxtel platform.”

Matthew Huntington, who heads OpenTV product management explained: ÔÇťOpenTV H2O does not provide direct support for DTT in Australia but enables broadcasters to use HTML and JavaScript as a common authoring format. OpenTV H2O and our embedded browser products support a new ETSI standard for HTML for TV. This standard provides a new option for DTT and other digital networks who are interested in using HTML for application development.”

The advantage for Channel Nine is that, for some types of application at least, it can use existing web infrastructure to develop services.