Sun Microsystems is aiming to enter the emerging market for internet protocol television with a video server as part of an overall solution.

The video server is based on technology Sun gained when it acquired a start-up company called Kealia last year. Kealia was founded by Andy Bechtolsheim, who originally co-founded of Sun Microsystems with Scott McNealy.

The as yet unannounced product is understood to be called Streamstar. Sun is understood to be offering carriers an end-to-end solution in partnership with other suppliers.

Among these could be interactive television software provider Digisoft, based in Ireland. Sun gave an IPTV demonstration in conjunction with Digisoft at the Supercomm conference in Chicago last month. Digisoft provides interactive television applications and application management for the MHP and OCAP platforms, which are both based on Java.

Microsoft has been making headlines with announcements with major telecommunications companies, most recently BT. Other vendors are exploiting concerns that this could give Microsoft too much control of the market.

Sun says that it can change the economics of IPTV delivery, and claims that its solution is being tested with carriers in North America, Asia and Europe.