T-Labs develops new concept for the TV of the future

Monday, March 2nd, 2015
T-Labs logo

​The time of “one TV product fits all” is over. Customers want to have full control over what they watch, and over when and where they watch it. They don’t want to be limited by broadcaster-defined program schedules. In addition, they want to have a consistent, integrated viewing experience across all screens. Working from established concepts for modern web services, Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs) has developed a TV-service concept for the future. The concept provides for a “TV kernel” with a set of basic services, such as free live channels and an electronic program guide (EPG). Customers can then customize the service by adding components in keeping with their personal tastes and needs:

  • Content-specific service components, for example program packages from providers such as Sky; over-the-top (OTT) services, music services, and games in games portals
  • Service-specific and social media-specific components, for storage of user media, Facebook and Twitter, for communication with user-defined communities, and services for specific interests such as fitness or cooking
  • Personal user-interface functionalities such as voice control, enhanced contrast and larger typefaces

Needless to say, the services can also be used on mobile devices. The development has included a special “high-five concept” that allows for easy navigation on TV screens. It enables users to control all functions via only five “buttons.” Alternatively, navigation can be handled on smartphones and tablets, which then provide an even more comprehensive range of control. With such mobile-device navigation, the TV screen serves solely as a client for presentation of the user’s chosen service.

The current prototype shows how customers can compile user profiles and services and conveniently access additional information – just as they do on the Internet. Its development has been supported by customer feedback from user tests conducted.

The technology behind it

The concept applies the latest web technologies, such as HTML5, as well as state-of-the-art browser technologies in users’ devices. Where user devices, such as set-top boxes and TV sets, lack the necessary performance for the concept, the service can be provided – either completely or in part – from the cloud, via virtualization. Cloud-based provision simplifies and accelerates consistent deployment of services on different screens.