This paper discusses the design and implementation of a Java execution environment (Java Virtual Machine and a selected subset of its associated core packages) targeted to embedded systems and, in particular, to set-top boxes for MPEG-2 digital TV reception.

Java bytecode offers a viable way of conveying executable contents to the end-user of the digital TV broadcasting service. In addition, it features a set of highly desirable properties, such as guaranteed interoperability, full independence from the executing hardware platform, a robust security model to block potential intruders, and wide availability of sophisticated code development and test suites.