CI Plus Specification Benefits From HD MHEG Upgrade In Version 1.3

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 
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LONDON, UK — IMPALA, the International MHEG Promotion Alliance, has welcomed the launch of version 1.3 of the CI Plus standard. Among a long list of enhancements, the new version – administered by CI Plus LLP – now includes HD MHEG capabilities. This is in response to a desire from operators to enable a visually richer graphical user interface (GUI) for interactive CI Plus applications such as VoD.

Bob Lamb, Founder Member of IMPALA and Managing Director of Cabot Communications, says, “We are pleased to see these improvements to the standard as we believe – and this is backed up by huge industry support – that CI Plus is important for the industry. Introducing HD capabilities to the MHEG part of the spec allows a significant advance to the GUI and is more reflective of MHEG’s capabilities.”

The MHEG-based CI Plus Browser allows a range of interactive services to be delivered direct to the TV, including video on demand (VoD) and universal electronic programme guides (EPGs). The standard – which is seeing ever-increasing support and live deployments – allows operators and broadcasters to secure video content via a small CI Plus Conditional Access Module (CAM) inserted into the Common Interface (CI) slot included in all iDTVs above 30cm sold in Europe, plus a growing number of CI Plus-ready set-top boxes.

Testing of the MHEG-based CI Plus Browser is carried out by the CI Plus-approved test facility, therefore helping to ensure interoperability of interactive MHEG applications across all conformant receivers.

Under the CI Plus Licence Agreement there is an 18-month period before the new version becomes mandatory. CI Plus v1.3 conformance will therefore become mandatory for new receivers no later than the 1st of August 2012. However, compliant receivers may be available on the market before then if driven by operators.

More: CI Plus Specification v1.3