Humax licenses S&T's Redkey? 2 MHEG engine for Freesat

Strategy & Technology Client Systems Ltd (S&T Client Systems), specialists in interactive TV playout systems and MHEG-5 middleware has licensed its RedKey? 2 MHEG-5 interactive TV middleware to Humax. Humax is using the software engine within its new FOXSAT-HD digital set-top box, enabling UK TV viewers to watch the new Freesat digital TV service, which launched on May 6th.

"Humax has selected RedKey? 2 based on a combination of our previous experience with S&T's technology, giving us faith in the company's abilities and its willingness to work alongside Humax to begin a substantial rebuild of its MHEG engine for this groundbreaking project. The confidence of S&T in approaching new technology and in working to grow MHEG is in line with the Humax philosophy and this was very important," explains Bob Hannent, Chief Technologist, Humax.

RedKey? 2—which as an MHEG-5 middleware allows the reception of interactive TV signals—takes a modular approach and allows manufacturers to select what they need for a given project. It also adds many new features over its predecessor, including HD support. Hannent says, "The design of RedKey? 2 means that we can take what we need from it while ensuring that good economy is maintained. We are also able to select the right MHEG product for the right reception device and as our product range grows we can integrate different aspects of the RedKey? 2 engine and we can update our products without risking existing development work."

Freesat is a new, free-to-air satellite TV service, offering almost every home in the UK over 80 channels of digital TV, radio and interactive services, including high definition (HD) programming from the BBC and ITV. The Freesat channel line-up will feature up to 200 channels by the end of the year. Freesat is a joint venture between ITV and the BBC.

"Humax believes that Freesat is a significant shift in the market. It increases choice and allows consumers to have access to HD content at a modest cost," says Hannent.

"We are very pleased to have extended our relationship with Humax and also to be working with companies supplying into the new Freesat market. This is a significant step for S&T and also for MHEG-5 and should be recognised as such," concludes Paul Daly, General Manger, S&T Client Systems.

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