Video Ezy will roll out an IPTV platform and set top box middleware to enable the delivery of an electronic video rental service to more than 1,000 stores across Australia and New Zealand. The stores in its chains serve more than eight million customers. The main components of the electronic rental service includes an in-store kiosk with movie library, branded USB or iPod-type storage system and an in-home Java set top box. Customers simply plug the USB or iPod into the kiosk to select movies to rent for later playback on the Java set top box. Digisoft has been selected to provide the IPTV platform and set top box software which removes dependency on traditional middleware, creating lower cost of ownership and faster returns for providers. Video Ezy managing director Paul Uniacke says the primary objective has always been to give customers a service that is dynamic and innovative. He says the electronic video rental service provides a new compelling and dynamic content delivery platform. "The set top box solution from Digisoft provides our customers with a range of feature rich applications combined with support for the latest high definition technology TV viewing; it also gives us the flexibility to adopt new advanced online delivery models in the future," Uniacke says. Digisoft.tv chairman, Tom Higgins, says the rental service is a great example of the flexibility of Digisoft's middleware to enable new delivery channels and derive new revenue opportunities. He says the system is a highly scalable and supports large numbers of clients across mixed high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) devices over fixed or wireless networks. "Also supported is the latest encryption and watermarking technologies," Higgins says. Video Ezy now has over 500 stores in Australia, 161 in New Zealand, 130 in Thailand, 143 in Indonesia, 29 in Singapore, 12 in Malaysia and three in Fiji. It boasts A$400 million (NZ$471 million) in revenue annually. In October 2007, Video Ezy entered into an agreement to acquire the master franchise rights for the Blockbuster home entertainment stores in Australia, which added a further 360 stores to the portfolio. The group now has close to 900 stores in Australia. Founded in 2000, DigiSoft.tv is a global provider of carrier class solutions to IPTV operators.