S&T prepares broadcasters for next-generation interactive TV at IBC

Friday, September 4th, 2009 
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AMSTERDAM, 10-15 September 2009, stand 1.A21 — Strategy & Technology, the leading specialists in interactive TV playout systems and MHEG-5 middleware, is launching the MHEG Presenter 2 product suite at IBC, which builds on the existing support for digital teletext and other information services with new modules for Video on Demand (VoD) support.

The latest version of MHEG Presenter, which allows broadcasters to create complex MHEG applications using graphical layout tools and structured content data without writing any MHEG code, now supports both IP-connected CI Plus (CI+) modules and hybrid IP/broadcast receivers where content is delivered using the MHEG Interaction Channel specification.

MHEG Presenter 2 will be used to a show a demonstration of CI+ VoD developed by S&T in collaboration with Tandberg Television (part of the Ericsson Group) and Neotion, both of which are also demonstrating applications using MHEG Presenter 2 at the show.

With CI+ VoD, operators are able to deliver network-based on-demand video services including catch-up TV without the need for a set-top box (STB), greatly reducing per-subscriber costs.

The launch of the IP ‘MHEG Interaction Channel’ on UK Freesat and Freeview HD is another area where S&T is at the forefront with its implementation of the D-Book 6.1 published earlier this year by the DTG, offering a public standardised solution for delivery of content over IP and broadcast to hybrid receivers.

S&T will demonstrate MHEG Interaction Channel VoD using Freesat receivers from both Humax and TechniSat. This solution enables operators to offer catch-up TV applications implemented with MHEG Presenter 2, along with highly flexible back-office integration.

Also new for IBC is TSMonitor, an innovative monitoring tool for interactive TV and subtitling that implements multiple virtual receivers running on a single rack-mounted server, each executing a pre-defined, scripted functional test case.

Designed for use by playout centres and broadcasters delivering either interactive TV (including interactive advertising) or subtitled services, TSMonitor incorporates a web-browser-based user interface that provides a simple ‘Traffic Light’ status display, enabling operational staff to drill down into the detail of alarms and swiftly rectify potentially costly errors. All events are logged for compliance and analysis.

S&T is also showing TSBroadcaster 2, the second generation of S&T’s DSM-CC Object Carousel product for DVB (MHEG-5 and MHP), OCAP/tru2way™ and ETV platforms. The OCAP/tru2way™ version also includes Out Of Band (OOB) playout, Common Download, and Digital Transport Adaptor (DTA) support.

Now with an enhanced user interface as well as improved performance, TSBroadcaster 2 will be shown with automation components from VDS (Video Design Software), demonstrating how interactive applications can be scheduled from a variety of industry standard broadcast automation systems.

Other highlights include RedKey™ 2, the latest version of S&T’s modular MHEG-5 middleware engine supporting all of the current international profiles of the MHEG interactive TV standard, and a complete MHEG EPG platform supporting PVR integration for both PayTV and ‘Freeview’ operators based on MHEG-5 middleware.

S&T will also demonstrate the new TechniSat ‘MultyText’ weather service, Germany’s very first MHEG-5 interactive television application which was launched at the IFA Berlin consumer electronics show earlier this month.

Developed by S&T with leading digital receiver manufacturer TechniSat using information supplied by the German meteorological authority, this comprehensive weather service enables users to drill down into accurate regional information, and exemplifies the power and flexibility of MHEG-based interactive TV in today’s broadcasting environment.