British company ANT announced at the IPTV World Forum that its browser-based platform has now been deployed in more than 10 million internet protocol television devices around the world. Advocating an open standards based approach, ANT has launched what it calls an “academy” to support the applications development community.

While Microsoft has attracted much attention with its Mediaroom platform, now supporting some two million boxes for service providers worldwide, the ANT Fresco and ANT Galio platforms support some of the largest and most successful deployments, including France Telecom and Chunghwa Telecom.

The ANT middleware is based on open standards like HTML and JavaScript, but unlike generic browsers, adds extensions to support functions that are specific to the television environment, like managing programme information and dealing with scheduling conflicts for digital video recorders. The look and feel of the user interface can be changed simply by editing a CSS stylesheet.

ANT is a member of OIPF, the Open IPTV Forum , a pan-industry initiative with the purpose of producing end to end specifications for internet protocol television services and says its software platform is being developed to be compatible with the standards that are emerging out of that group.

ANT has also licensed its software to the leading device manufacturers worldwide including ADB, Amino, AVM, Cisco, Coship, Daewoo, HwaCom, HDT, Sagem, Samsung, Telsey and Thomson.

Last year ANT saw 3 million units deployed. “ANT is well positioned to build on this as the market continues to grow. We’re also extremely pleased with the market response to the launch of ANT Galio 3.0,” said Richard Baker, who is responsible for sales and marketing.

The British company, which is based in Cambridge, has launched the ANT Academy to support the development of digital television applications and services for the set-top box and integrated digital television receivers.

“We’re supporting the community with a range of tools including the ANT Academy portal, an online resource that provides forums, sample code and technical specifications to help members develop to ANT’s standards based platform and to reach a global audience,” the company said in a statement.

“Whilst providing technical and operational support, ANT Academy will in parallel, promote close ongoing commercial and business relationships between members. These relationships will advance a new economy for TV commerce and leverage ANT’s extensive global deployment experience.”