DTG unveils next-generation features for Freeview platform

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 
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LONDON — DTG announces the latest technical specification enhancements for Freeview and Freeview HD–as the digital television industry gathers for their annual Summit on 2 March in London.

An updated D-Book will be published on 31 March 2012.

New features in the 2012 DTG D-Book include:

  • Enhanced EPG with the ability to go both backwards and forwards, allows a viewer to navigate to a programme’s webpage or view a trailer for the programme
  • Remote Booking (enables viewers to book recordings or set reminders from a website or application)
  • Enhancements to the current Broadcast Record Lists feature
  • Clearer reference of the ETSI MHEG specification to drive international harmonisation

These enhancements build on the current edition of the D-Book (D-Book 7) published in 2011, which marked a turning point in UK digital terrestrial television with the introduction of an industry-agreed, technical specification for Connected TV products and services.

The DTG’s Technology Director and editor of the D-Book, Simon Gauntlett, will discuss the enhancements in detail, as well as the D-Book’s adoption of international standards, at the DTG Summit on 2 March.

The DTG’s Director General Richard Lindsay-Davies said: “The Digital TV Group has balanced UK business requirements and high consumer expectations with the increasing demands of globalisation and business complexity to deliver another world leading digital television standard for Freeview.”

Delivering access services to Connected TVs

The DTG’s role as an industry leader in the standardisation of usability and accessibility features in digital television was recognised by Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries at an event hosted by BIS and DCMS last week.

To ensure the UK builds on its status as an international leader in the provision of digital television access services, the DTG has established an Accessibility Group to expand on the existing Usability Book (U-Book) by further enhancing the sections on subtitles, audio description and text-to-speech with reference to hybrid broadcast/broadband ‘Connected TV.’

Leading international standardisation

The D-Book’s adoption of the European ETSI standard for MHEG interactive applications underlines how the Group works with international standards bodies to drive innovation while maximising international standardisation.

The first version of the ETSI standard (ETSI ES 202 184), published in 2004, was based on D-Book 5, with the aim of making the MHEG profile developed by the DTG available to countries outside the UK.

The second version, published in 2011, brings it in line with D-Book 6.2 and introduces a number of technical solutions from other platforms that have adopted MHEG. This makes ES 202 184 the central resource for MHEG implementations around the world.

The new version of the D-Book, references ETSI directly and contains only clarifications and profiles that are specific to the UK’s requirements.

In the future the DTG will publish all enhancements to the UK MHEG profile through ETSI to ensure that all international platforms derived from ETSI can benefit from the DTG’s technical leadership.

Future focus

The DTG recognises the importance of emerging technologies such as Second Screen and Home Networking. Development work in these areas will begin in the Spring. The DTG will also focus on future uses of spectrum such as LTE and White Spaces.

The DTG Summit takes place on 2 March 2012 at the Congress Centre, Great Russell Street, London.