2. Cont. on demand
3. Deferred TV
A range of programming languages come into question for the development of iTV applications on the client-side. These are presented in brief here. It is possible to distinguish between the universal programming languages (C and Java), programming languages with limited useability (MHEG, Actionscript, Javascript) and primitive markup languages (HTML) on the basis of their possibilities.



This broadly used and processor-friendly imperative programming language is universally useable and offers all possibilities. Development in C demands professionalism.

The large majority of the applications integrated into the receiver device software (embedded applications) are written in C. C can also be use for applications for the globally utilised middleware OpenTV.



This is also an imperative and universally useable programming language. Java also follows the principle of object orientation, which facilitates leading-edge software engineering. Various organisations have defined comprehensive libraries for Java, with which all forms of applications can be realised. Development in Java demands experience with embedded systems because the risk otherwise exists that the applications will lack in the requisite performance.

In Germany Java was the programming language for applications for the d-box II, the receiver device developed by the Kirch Group. With DVB-J a component of the MHP standard, the globally active DVB committee defined the programming of iTV applications in Java.



This is a scripting language optimised for use in the field of iTV. It should result in high performance applications even on receiver units with the simplest of computer architecture. The functional scope is also defined for iTV. Unfortunately, programming in MHEG is highly cryptic.

MHEG is predominantly used in the United Kingdom. In Germany, the PayTV provider Premiere wrote its VoD applications in MHEG



The "Flash" system, which is widely spread across the web with its programming language Actionscript, could be an alternative for iTV application programming. Actionscript is a scripting language but is it highly comprehensive and expandable. However, the majority of its alignment with the demands of iTV applications and iTV receiver devices is still impending.



This is a simple script language which is used primarily for the development of dynamic web pages. ITV-specific functions and access to functions of the receiver unit have not (yet) been clearly defined. The great advantage of Javascript is its wide distribution across the environment of the WWW.

Despite its lack of suitability, Javascript is therefore recommended by the organisations Open-IPTV Forum and DVB (DVB-HTML as a component of MHP)



This is a primitive markup language for first generation websites, which is suitable for only the simplest of iTV applications if at all. HTML is however useful for the embedding of script languages.



Harald Molina-Tillmann

Introduction to interactive television

4. Return channel
5. Encryption

8. Programming

6. Further technology
7. Runtime environm.
1. TV transmission
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8. Programming
9. API