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Sun, Hitachi plan Java set-tops

Sun is expected to announce an initial implementation of 30,000 TV set-top boxes in Japan through Hitachi, the first rollout of Java-based set-top boxes.

Sun Microsystems is expected later today to announce an initial implementation of 30,000 TV set-top boxes in Japan through Hitachi, the first rollout of Java-based set-top boxes, according to the companies.

The deal, based on Hitachi hardware and Sun's JavaOS operating system, according to sources, marks some of the first tangible results in Sun's bid to proliferate its programming language across a variety of devices.

Tele-Communications Incorporated (TCI) announced plans last month to include Sun's PersonalJava software--a subset of the programming language--for all of its TV set-top boxes. That echoed a similar deal between TCI and Microsoft earlier that same week.

Sun and Hitachi will deploy more than 200,000 set-top boxes based on Multi-RDR hardware and the JavaOS by the end of next year, according to sources.

The market for software to run a variety of consumer devices, such as TV set-top boxes, is the latest battleground for a variety of firms, including Sun, Microsoft, and Network Computer Incorporated, which announced its own deal last month.