News Round-Up (VI): Sony, Google TV, Strategy & Technology, Widevine

Sony's Google TV IFA Demo

--Sony Demo's Google TV Device at IFA
--S&T to Launch HbbTV Version of TSBroadcaster, Player App for MHEG IC and CI+ Markets
--Widevine Allowed Patent on Transcoding Broadcast Content for Internet Delivery

Due to the large volume of interactive TV-related news generated over the past few days by the IFA and the run-up to the IBC, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up format. We anticipate that it will take a couple of days for us to catch up with all the recent news: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us. Our regular news coverage will return shortly.

  • Sony has been demo'ing its implementation of the Google TV platform, the Sony Internet TV Powered by Google, at the IFA in Berlin this week. Gizmodo Australia shot a video of the demo, which is embedded above.
  • Strategy & Technology, a UK-based provider of interactive TV playout systems and middleware, has announced that it will use the IBC (booth 1.A21) to launch a version of its TSBroadcaster Object/Data Carousel that has been designed for the HbbTV standard. (Note: HbbTV--short for "Hybrid Broadcast Broadband Television"--is a pan-European initiative that was launched in August, 2009, and that describes its goal as "harmonizing the broadcast and broadband delivery of news, information and entertainment to the end consumer through TV's and set-top boxes with an optional Web connection." The consortium behind the initiative recently received standardization for version 1.1.1 of its specification as ETSI TS 102 796--see the article published on, July 5th. The consortium also says that French TV regulator, the Conseil Superieur de l'Audiovisuel, has expressed support for HbbTV, with the introduction in France of interactive TV applications and services based on the spec expected to take place next year.) "TSBroadcaster is already a well-established product, used both in Europe and in the United States, with versions already covering DVB (MHEG-5 and MHP), OCAP and ETV platforms," S&T states in its press materials. "The OCAP version now includes support for Common Download and Out Of Band (OOB) playout as well as transport stream and GigE IP outputs. The new HbbTV edition will be available in Q4 2010." Said S&T managing director, David Cutts: "This variant of TSBroadcastesr will form an element of S&T's integrated HbbTV solution. We can now offer customers an extended suite of options for interactive TV supporting all the key standards. Enthusiasm from both the German and French market makes it clear that HbbTV is an important part of broadcasters' plans and IBC is the perfect platform to show why our sophisticated technology is the preferred customer choice." In other S&T news: The company has announced that it will demo its latest technologies for catch-up TV and VOD at the IBC, both in its own booth and in the Connected World area (IP601). Among other things, the company plans to launch an S&T Player application for MHEG Interaction Channel and CI+ markets. "S&T Player is an MHEG application for video-on-demand services including catch-up TV," S&T states in its press materials. "Flexible backoffice integration is provided using S&T's Mediator server application...S&T Player and Mediator offer a configurable and customizable solution for MHEG Interaction Channel (MHEG-IC) and CI+ platforms, supporting browsing and navigation of on-demand content as well as playback control. S&T Player also implements playlists so that, for example, a sequence of commercials and program 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 CPM models for advertising views. The MHEG-IC version of S&T Player runs on receivers conforming to the DTG D-Book 6.2.1 specification, with support for high-definition graphics and AES encryption of streamed media. The CI+ version uses the same core S&T Player product, but in conjunction with a CI+ module and constrained to the standard-definition graphics supported by the CI+ browser MHEG engine. The Mediator server application performs the function of transforming VOD catalog data from backoffice systems into a standard format used by S&T Player. A number of adapters have already been developed for third-party backoffice products."
  • Content protection and video optimization specialist, Widevine, has announced that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted it a patent (its 63rd to date) which it says provides it with "intellectual property protection for transcoding broadcast content for Internet delivery." According to the company, the patent "covers transcoding actions such as encryption, encoding and encapsulation," and describes an invention that "allows consumers to enjoy live, high-definition (HD) entertainment over the Internet."


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