A new a high-definition MPEG-4 set-top box will be launched for less than fifty pounds. It is part of a platform developed by Irish company DigiSoft. Designed for internet protocol television services, the DigiHost software platform will be coupled with a new low-cost Java-based set-top box.

The DigiSoft solution will be launched at the IPTV World Forum in London. The set-top box includes a customisable interactive programme guide with seamless support for video-on-demand and network video recording. It also enables interactive advertising applications, including the ability to push to talk to call centre operators.

The company says its solution will offer a rapid route to market for telecommunications companies and internet service providers. The DigiHost platform provides support for application development and delivery, including integration into complex ecosystems. These may include various video encoders, servers, digital rights management and conditional access systems.

DigitSoft.tv is a privately held company based in Ireland, backed by venture capital and strategic investors. The company is extending its experience with interactive television based on the MHP Multimedia Home Platform and applying it to the emerging market for broadband video services.

Java also provides the basis for the Myrio middleware platform acquired by Siemens. A variety of vendors are competing with Microsoft, which has been adopted by a number of top tier telecommunications companies.