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There's a revolution coming to your TV: a digital, interactive, Internet-enabled revolution that will make possible services you've never imagined! The next TV revolution comes with new technologies, new standards, new architectures, and new business paradigms. Finally, there's a single source for up-to-the-minute insight into every aspect of next-generation digital TV: The Essential Guide to Digital Set-Top Boxes and Interactive TV. From MPEG-4 to middleware, webcasting to Java OS, Gerard O'Driscoll covers the state-of-the-art, comparing the strategies and technologies -- and cutting through the hype. Start by reviewing the building blocks of digital TV, including compression, encoding, modulation, conditional access, transmission, and network management. Preview next-generation digital set-tops, understanding their key features and components. Compare the leading set-top operating systems, including JavaOS, Windows CE, David OS-9, PowerTV, VxWorks, pSOS+, and other key entries. Understand the technologies and opportunities associated with Internet-based TV, including set-top Web browsing, webcasting, email, online chat, broadband applications, video on demand, parental controls, and more. Compare today's hottest electronic program guides (EPGs), and discover how they promise to serve as 21st century portals to the TV experience. If it's part of the digital interactive TV revolution, you'll learn about it in The Essential Guide to Digital Set-Top Boxes and Interactive TV! For everyone who needs to know where TV is headed, including investors, managers, marketing or PR professionals, software developers, public policy professionals, and consumers.