Sun’s Bill Sheppard on BD-J, tru2way, MHP and more…

An excellent interview with Bill Sheppard, chief digital media officer of the Client Software Group at Sun Microsystems was published yesterday by InteractiveTV Today. It’s quite a long interview, covering the latest developments in various Java-based iTV projects including BD-J for Blu-ray Disc and tru2way, both of which are of course based on DVB’s GEM specifications.

Here’s a short extract from the interview:

Tracy Swedlow (ITVT): …You said you already have 25 million enabled set top boxes. Are those boxes ready to work?

Bill Sheppard (Sun): Theyâre in the field. So, of that,
roughly 15 million are Blu-ray players, including the PS3. The other 10
million are various OCAP or MHP or GEM-IPTVâ¦Theyâre all alphabet
soupâ¦Theyâre all members of the same family of Java-based global TV

Swedlow: So thatâs international distributionâ¦?

Sheppard: Right. Korea, for instance, most people
have digital TV there, have a Java-based set top box, whether itâs
satellite, cable, or over-the-air, or IPTV. Italy, 90% of the
population in Italy gets over-the-air TV and the government has made
MHPâ¦Multimedia Home Platform, the original Java-based standard, has
been made the standard environment for the government to deliver
applications and services to the population in Finland, Germany, Spain,
and France. So youâve got bits and pieces around the world, but the
actual interesting volume is going to come from the US, now that cable
has finally started…

Read the full interview on the ITVT blog.