S&T to Deliver Video On Demand for UK Freeview HD and Freesat using MHEG

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Strategy & Technology (S&T) technology is helping to deliver on demand video content over broadband to Freeview HD and Freesat set-top boxes and IDTVs as part of the new MHEG Interaction Channel (MHEG-IC). During IP&TV World Forum S&T will be showcasing the S&T Player application that offers a configurable and customisable video on demand solution (VoD) for MHEG-IC, supporting navigation to find content and playback control. S&T Player also enables the use of playlists so that, for example, a sequence of commercials and programme segments can be served to the receiver that then 'pulls' each content item in sequence. Logging of playback progress is also supported, enabling the introduction of audience measurement for advertising.

Does this kind of put a nail in the coffin of Youview, which has now been delayed well into 2012? It's anticipated that MHEG-IC-based applications will be brought into use ahead of the YouView platform, in which it is included, offering viewers service such as the BBC iPlayer on set-top boxes, PVRs and integrated digital televisions (IDTVs).

MHEG-IC is part of D-Book 6.2.1 the specification for Freeview HD and published by the UK's Digital TV Group (DTG)... Freeview New Zealand has also specified MHEG-IC for their platform and other countries are considering its adoption.

Colin Prior, Director of International Sales at S&T said:

"MHEG remains a very important part of UK TV, because the MHEG-based Red Button interactive services are both valued and well used. HbbTV adoption is led by Germany and France with other countries to follow. S&T's MHEG and HbbTV solutions provide a cost-effective connected TV platform for broadcasters and manufacturers alike".

This should also be interesting news for American Cable operators and their own movement towards more interactive TV at Cable Labs with their Open Cable project which also uses OCAP middleware rather then the UK initiative called MHEG.

The MHEG-IC version of S&T Player runs on receivers conforming to the DTG D-Book 6.2.1 specification, which includes high definition (HD) graphics and AES encryption of streamed media. A version of the S&T Player is also available for the UK Freesat platform as well as for markets using the CI Plus (CI+) standard.

S&T has also recently announced a version of its RedKey™3 receiver engine for the HbbTV specification. RedKey™3 integrates the NetFront™ Browser from ACCESS and associated HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) extensions, as well as S&T's DSM-CC client.

RedKey™2 is already a popular choice of manufacturers implementing MHEG functionality in digital TV receivers with more than 14 million units already installed. RedKey™3 offers an integrated HbbTV solution, complete with a DSM-CC client and HbbTV signalling, using a similar API to RedKey™2 to simplify integration.

Many leading European broadcasters including Canal+, TF1, ARD, RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 are committed to offering HbbTV powered hybrid applications and services. The HbbTV specification is based on existing standards and web technologies including OIPF (Open IPTV Forum), CEA, DVB and W3C. It has been standardised as ETSI TS 102 796.

S&T will also be displaying the latest version of its popular TSBroadcaster DSM-CC Object/Data Carousel including HbbTV signalling support. TSBroadcaster is already a well-established and highly-respected product, used both in Europe and in North America, with versions already covering DVB (MHEG-5 and MHP), OCAP and ETV platforms.

 

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