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Espial to power Mitsubishi STBs for NTT Plala’s IPTV service

Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric has chosen a user interface from Canadian firm Espial to power the set-top boxes it is providing to Japanese service provider NTT Plala for the latter’s IPTV service.

The Espial TV Browser will enable NTT Plala to deliver customised, interactive IP video-on-demand and e-shopping services and applications, such as review and rating functions, through an intuitive user interface.

“Two of our main criteria while looking for a connected TV browser were an open design and support for all of the industry’s latest standards, including HTML5,” said Hiroyuki Ojima, manager, Mitsubishi Electric.

“We chose the Espial TV Browser because it offers a high degree of modularity, a customisable user interface, and robust performance — all of which enabled our customer NTT Plala to deploy interactive and personalised applications rapidly across Mitsubishi’s connected set-top boxes.”

The Espial TV Browser features a comprehensive software development kit that can be integrated seamlessly with Mitsubishi’s proprietary middleware media player and digital rights management platform for smooth playback of encrypted content.

The browser’s open, modular-based architecture also enables easy integration with video plug-ins and JavaScript extensions, and is portable across a wide range of chipsets and devices, further simplifying interactive TV content and Web navigation on connected TVs.

Based on the same WebKit rendering engine used by Google Chrome and Apple Safari browsers, the Espial TV Browser features built-in Adobe Flash, as well as support for HTML5 and the latest W3C Web and interactive TV standards, including ISDB and OIPF.

Through a powerful JavaScript-based engine optimised to accelerate CSS3 and CSS 3D animations, Espial TV Browser quickly performs graphic transitions and supports complex animations.

The TV Browser user interface can be customised according to geographic location and user preferences and provides users with dynamic content and streamlined Web navigation.

NTT Plala is one of Japan’s biggest Internet providers, delivering triple-play service (broadband, VoIP and IPTV) to customers across the country, and had reached over 5mn subscribers for its broadband and IPTV services by the end of March 2012.

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