MHEG-5 and its new features in DVB networks
worldwide
25th February 2008
David Cutts
Managing Director
Strategy & Technology
Founder member of IMPALA
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Agenda
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S&T and Impala
Benefits of Standardised Middleware
MHEG-5 and MHP
MPEG4 and MHEG-5
Extended MHEG for 2008
Conformance Regimes
MHEG Applications
Summary and Contacts
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Strategy & Technology
• Independent company
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– Offices in London, Bristol, Denver, Hong Kong
Works largely in digital interactive TV
Supplies RedkeyTM MHEG-5 engines to receiver manufacturers
Leads MHEG-5 specification activity in DTG/ETSI
Supplies MHEG-5 applications and playout equipment (Object Carousels)
Carousel equipment also used in MHP and in US OCAP rollout in US Cable
– Customers include RAI in Italy (MHP), Time Warner Cable in US (OCAP), RTM Malaysia,
Taiwan TV (for MHP trials)
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
• The International MHEG Promotion Alliance is a not-for-profit organisation
whose principal aim is to promote the use of the MHEG-5 international standard
in digital TV worldwide.
• For more information see www.impala.org.
• Founder members of Impala are S&T, Echostar Europe and Cabot
Communications
• Supporters include Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, NZ Freeview, Finlux, Hitachi,
TopUpTV, TVonics and Zinwell
• IMPALA promotes. Its members compete.
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Agenda
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S&T and Impala
Benefits of Standardised Middleware
MHEG-5 and MHP
MPEG4 and MHEG-5
Extended MHEG for 2008
Conformance Regimes
MHEG Applications
Summary and Contacts
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Why specify interactive TV?
For maximum benefit from digital TV (for both viewers and broadcasters) a
middleware should be specified and deployed on all receivers in a network to
support interactive services and applications including:
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Platform EPG (Electronic Programme Guide)
Digital teletext and information services
Enhanced TV formats (programme related)
Games and voting/participation TV formats
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Audience measurement
Operator information / account management
t-commerce for shopping channels
e-government
And with Interaction Channel (return path)
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Middleware considerations
• Interactive TV works best when all (or the vast majority) of the receivers in a
market have middleware installed
• Content and services that reach just a small percentage of a broadcaster’s
audience do not support a viable business / commercial model
• Technical standard considerations are important but not as important as enabling
an audience for interactive services
• No Audience = No Business!
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Using Public Standards
• Use of Public Standards enables:
– widespread adoption and
– multiple vendors at each part of the industry chain
– price and performance competition
• Requires conformance scheme to ensure interoperability and ease of use
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Agenda
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S&T and Impala
Benefits of Standardised Middleware
MHEG-5
Extended MHEG for 2008
Conformance Regimes
MHEG Applications
Summary and Contacts
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
MHEG-5
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Developed in ISO-MHEG group and DAVIC in 1995
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Standardised in ISO 13522-5
Adopted by UK DTG in 1997
UK Profile includes text, graphics and DSM-CC carousel systems
Profile evolved to UK Profile 1.06 (current)
ETSI standard ES 202184
NZ profile extends to include extra Maori characters and EPG key
New Hong Kong profile released with support of Traditional Chinese
Extensions under development for deployment in 2008
– Intended as UI for DAVIC interactive services and VOD
– Simple object oriented interpreted language
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IP Interaction Channel (return path)
PVR support
Improved graphics
HD compatibility
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
MHEG-5 Rollout
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Successfully deployed in UK
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Launched in New Zealand in May 2007
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Trials and evaluations in Ireland, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey, India and Russia with interest
from other countries in Europe and Asia
No known essential IPR
MHEG middleware software approx US$1 per receiver
Lowest retail price in UK <$40
Wide integration into iDTVs in Europe
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Note the above applies mostly to MPEG-2 platforms in 2008
– >18m receivers sold
– a single S&T customer shipped 700k units in Q3 2007
– 99% UK Freeview platform penetration, >25% usage
– DVB-S receiver sales over forecast so far (already >40,000 units)
– DTT launches 2008 with MPEG-4 HD and MHEG-5
– 50% of sales iDTV…MHEG available to most leading brands
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
What is MHEG-5?
• Simple object orientated programming language
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to control presentation of content made up from audio, video, text and still graphics objects
to provide user interaction with the application
supporting real time video and audio presentation
focussed on TV requirements
low overhead and high speed
• A complete environment including
– Authoring tools and data systems
– Broadcast transmission using DSMCC Object Carousel standard and optional IP-based
connectivity
– Middleware – the MHEG middleware or ‘stack’ that is resident in the STB. This provides an
API on which interactive applications can run
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
MHEG vs Java
• MHEG-5 is designed specifically for TV presentation
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Remote control operation
Displays built on TV layout
Works in its own safe memory space
Robust interpreted language
• Java is a complex general purpose tool with adaptations for TV
• As illustration of comparable complexity
– MHP (based on Java) has >10000 unit tests
• There are no other standardised Java systems for TV
– MHEG has <350 test
• But there are very few, if any, broadcast applications for TV that can be done in MHP and not
MHEG-5
• MHEG-5 loads and runs faster
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
MHEG applications are smaller
Source: MHP/MHEG Coexistence project. BBC Research.
• Smaller applications means faster start and lower cost transmission
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Agenda
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S&T and Impala
Benefits of Standardised Middleware
MHEG-5 and MHP
MPEG4 and MHEG-5
Extended MHEG for 2008
Conformance Regimes
MHEG Engines
MHEG Applications
Summary and Contacts
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
MPEG-4 and MHEG-5
• Inclusion of HD/SD MPEG-4 in the system makes a difference to a number of
issues
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Cost of silicon
Number of receiver suppliers in short term
Complexity of receiver outputs
MHEG-5 display strategy for HD services
• Receiver costs are higher in short term
– but bandwidth utilisation is better
• Next generation iDTV will include MPEG-4
• Receiver solutions have easy IP connection
• MHEG-5 HD support in development for 2008
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Projects using MPEG-4/MHEG-5
• Freeview NZ DTT
– Launches 2008
• Republic of Ireland
– Launch 2008
• Many iDTV designs for 2008/9 will incorporate both technologies
• Freesat in UK
– Launch 2008
• Hong Kong DTT (TVB)
– Launch 2008
– Receiver manufacturers already working on implementation
• Others in planning phase
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Agenda
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S&T and Impala
Benefits of Standardised Middleware
MHEG-5 and MHP
MPEG4 and MHEG-5
Extended MHEG for 2008
Conformance Regimes
MHEG Engines
MHEG Applications
Summary and Contacts
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Extensions for 2008
• Interaction channel (Return path)
– Uses (broadband) always on IP return path
– Enables
• delivery of more interactive content
• secure commercial transactions
• HD graphics and fonts
• PVR Support
– Including Push VOD
• Specification work in DTG
– Will output to ETSI
• Conformance tests being built by DTG Testing
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
MHEG Interaction Channel
• Extension of Profile to add ‘always on’ IP connection
– Connected to home network
– Could be connected via phone
• Enables
– Seamless extension of interactive services using content from known servers
– Commercial transactions
– Security
• Now under development for use in 2008
– Including test regime
• Next version under discussion
– MHEG control of presentation of streamed or downloaded a/v from IP source
– Provides Broadcaster-controlled IPTV
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Agenda
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S&T and Impala
Benefits of Standardised Middleware
MHEG-5 and MHP
MPEG4 and MHEG-5
Extended MHEG for 2008
Conformance Regime
MHEG Engines
MHEG Applications
Summary
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Conformance Regime
• In UK conformance regime was weak until 2005/6.
– Many problems arose from this, especially for retailers
• A tough conformance regime, using Pass/Fail tests to achieve brand acceptance,
is recommended for
– SI, Subtitles, MHEG-5, RF, OAD, AFD, etc
• OAD capability is essential for all receivers
• Much can be derived or licensed from DTG in UK
– Including subcontracting work
• MHEG 1.06 has ~ 350 tests
– Stable, managed, licensable test suite
– Development programme in place for extensions
• Note: MHP has >10,000 tests
– MHP tests for recent versions not completed
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Agenda
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S&T and Impala
Benefits of Standardised Middleware
MHEG-5 and MHP
MPEG4 and MHEG-5
Extended MHEG for 2008
Conformance Regimes
Rollout
MHEG Applications
Summary
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
International Rollout
• UK has 23m+ MHEG receivers sold
• Freeview New Zealand
– Operational on DTH
– DTT launches April 2008
• TVB in Hong Kong on air shortly
– Hong Kong profile released soon
• Projects under discussion in ASEAN region
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
MHEG-5 Profile for India
• Current Baseline is NZ Profile
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– UK Profile plus EPG launch key
Profile for India needs support for local languages
Graphics and downloadable font system under development allows this to work
Discussion already underway with cable operators in India
Contract announced today with Digicable (Mumbai)
– Complete system including applications and playout
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Agenda
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S&T and Impala
Benefits of Standardised Middleware
MHEG-5 and MHP
MPEG4 and MHEG-5
Extended MHEG for 2008
Conformance Regimes
MHEG Applications
Summary and Contacts
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Providing Interactive Applications
• Most applications are similar, with different design and content.
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Publishing information
Displaying graphics and pictures
Interaction through ‘list and select’ or ‘show and select’.
Navigation to different services
• Most applications in MHP and in MHEG are made with higher level ‘template’
tools and very stable operating applications
• Most cost in applications is in content production (information and pictures)
• S&T provides applications and content tools in collaboration with partners
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
MHEG System Architecture
Viewer Premises
iTV Authoring
Tools
Broadcast Playout
TV Display
Program Video & Audio
(Video Server playout)
MHEG
Tools
Mux
TX
MHEG content
MHEG Appl’n
Live content feeds & updates
e.g. Weather, News, Sports (XML)
Content
Management
Systems
25th February 2008
MHEG content
MHEG Engine
MHEG Appl’ns
Set Top Box
DSMCC
Object Carousel
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
New S&T Product - MHEGPresenter
• High-level XML content description language
– Defines page layout, content, behaviour and navigation
– Head-end pre-processing into compact files for transmission
• Compact MHEG-5 Application on STB
– Renders screen layouts and functions
– Handles user input and interactions
• Suitable for publishing services
• Interactive Advertising
• Text/information Services
• Shopping
• Easy to use with content production/layout tools
• Can use Latin and Asian character sets
• MHEG-5 language training and development tools also available
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Some Applications
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Text
Multiscreen
Complex Advertising
Games
EPG
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Skytext on Freeview UK
• 500 ‘pages’ with frequent content updates (mostly automatic)
• Integrated with SysMedia content management and production system
• Profit generating (though advertising)
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Text Service -Traditional Chinese
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Multiscreen Services
• MHEG controls the presentation and
choice of multi-screen services
– User chooses which to view
– Has access to information on each
event
– 40%+ of digital sports viewers in UK
use these applications
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Shopping - QVC (Freeview UK)
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Integrated with QVC’s existing CMS using XML
Runs completely automatically using a data-driven model
Profit generating through sales increases
Can be extended to include transactions
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
MHEG System Architecture
Viewer Premises
iTV Authoring
Tools
Broadcast Playout
TV Display
Program Video & Audio
(Video Server playout)
MHEG
Tools
Mux
TX
MHEG content
MHEG Appl’n
Live content feeds & updates
e.g. Weather, News, Sports (XML)
Content
Management
Systems
Interaction
Server
25th February 2008
MHEG content
MHEG Engine
MHEG Appl’ns
Set Top Box
DSMCC
Object Carousel
Internet connected return channel
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
QVC prototype with online purchase
Green ‘Buy Button’ leads to online purchase via the IP interaction channel
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Games - Tetris
• Stand-alone gaming
application:
• Free-to-play or payper- play via
premium rate phone
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Games “Studio Runners”
‘Sokoban’ maze game for BBCi
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
EPG application for NZ
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
EPG – Traditional Chinese
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Platform-wide EPG
• MHEG-5 can provide platform-wide EPG
– Loads quickly from carousel
– Data carriage is efficient
• Compressed in carousel
• (EIT schedule uses uncompressed data)
– Same appearance and behaviour on all receivers
– Branding of platform and per channel
– Advertising opportunities
• Needs carriage on all muxes
• PVR control from MHEG-5 EPG in development
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Agenda
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S&T and Impala
Benefits of Standardised Middleware
MHEG-5 and MHP
MPEG4 and MHEG-5
Extended MHEG for 2008
Conformance Regimes
MHEG Applications
Summary and Contacts
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Summary
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Digital TV enables additional interactive services that benefit both viewers and broadcasters
MHEG-5 offers a proven and stable middleware with low consumer cost, strong manufacturer support from
major brands and suppliers
No known essential IPR licensing
MHEG-5 is also widely available in flat screen iDTVs from many manufacturers
A minimum profile specification and simple conformance testing ensures that all receivers are interactive-enabled
at an affordable price
Profile with Chinese language support already available
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Profile for Indian language support under development
PVR, High-definition and IP support are also available for future services
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Receivers in pre-production to this specification
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
Contacts Thank you!
Strategy & Technology Contacts:
David Cutts
Managing Director
[email protected]
Colin Prior
Director of International Sales
[email protected]
Distribution in India
Novacom Digitronics Private Limited
[email protected]
25th February 2008
BES Expo MHEG-5 S&T
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