Korean Tech Developer Is HD 'Dreamer'

A Korean technology developer has begun marketing an interactive platform in the U.S. that could turn Blu-ray high-definition disc players into networked platforms providing HD content directly to viewer's TV screens.

With the program, dubbed Biddle (for business middleware), the disc players could bypass cable and satellite companies as providers of HD content. But executives of Dreamer, the firm which developed Biddle, said they are pitching the interactive platform to domestic cable operators, too.

"We want to be a service provider" to content creators, distributors, retailers and other consumer electronics companies, said Jim Braun, president and CEO of Namsung America Inc.,which also does business as Dual Electronics Corp.

With the technology, Blu-ray players would be more than just a one-function box, according to company officials. As a networked technology, the consumer hardware may deliver tailored advertising, measure viewership of content and ads and refresh content such as DVDs after consumer purchases.

The middleware will be distributed by Namsung America, the 42-year-old Korean electronics manufacturer that counts 1 million subscribers in that nation. Content is delivered by the top ISP (Korea Telecom) and cable operator (CJ CableNet) in the country, with content including home shopping, games, social networking and films, all in HD. Unlike applications like Microsoft TV, the content is delivered via Biddle is manipulated with a remote control, not a keyboard. 

The executives said they are pushing into the U.S. market now because Blu-ray now will be the defacto standard for HD disc players, and that technology is 90% similar to the hardware used in Korea. Also, developers believe Blu-ray players will hit the a $249 to $299 price point by this holiday season, accelerating penetration of those players in American homes.