Ocean Blue, a UK specialist in digital television software, has signed a contract to supply and support its Voyager software to French technology company Iwedia.

The contract, worth around £500,000, will allow Iwedia to build interactive TV services into its DVB middleware. It comes in the month that France switches on “TNT”, a free 14-channel service similar to Freeview in the UK.

Iwedia, based in Britanny, is back by three venture capital funds, including Thales Corporate Ventures. Their middleware, incorporating Ocean Blue’s MHEG-5 and DSM-CC software, is expected to find its way into products from Philips Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics, Micronas, Philips Consumer Electronics, Pace, Nokia, Scientific Atlanta, CanalSatellite and Digiturk.

“We welcome the strategic alliance with Iwedia, to further increase the distribution of our products and expertise,” said Ken Helps, chief executive of Ocean Blue.