OKI Develops Audience Rating Information System for IPTV

Monday, June 30th, 2008

TOKYO — Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd. (TSE: 6703) today announced it has developed “Audience Rating Information System” for IPTV, which will be offered to the Japanese market. The system collects viewership data to enable broadcasting companies to improve their services.

“We are pleased to introduce OKI’s Audience Rating Information System using our eVideo technology to efficiently deliver high quality video over IP networks,” said Masa Saito, General Manager of IP Systems Division at OKI. “We have been proposing the technology to handle audience rating information to ASTAP, Asia’s communication standard organization and FG-IPTV in ITU, the UN’s agency for information and communication technologies, as we believe open standards are important in improving IPTV service and technologies. We will continue our activities within IPTV-GSI, the IPTV standardization initiative, to promote international standardization to enrich IPTV services.”

IPTV service is expected to grow as telecom carriers in Japan will increase their IPTV service provisioning with the start of next-generation network (NGN) services, and the ITU working on setting international standards. Current ground-based broadcasting systems have functions to collect viewership data such as user preference and viewer history, as it is important for broadcasting companies to collect such information. However, with current IPTV services, there are no equivalent user information collection functions.

To respond to such needs, OKI has developed IPTV Audience Rating Information System to enable service providers, with the authorization of users, to obtain information about when and which channel and programs the users watched. The system will collect the viewership data in the form of an “audience rating library” on the user’s device, which will then be encrypted, sent to and registered in the database server at the IPTV distribution center. This information will then be printed out as viewership reports which service providers can offer to program producers.

The server offers scalability enabling service providers to increase the number of servers as viewership increases. The audience rating library can be embedded in the set-top-boxes (STB) or in the IPTV. Those who have STBs or IPTVs without the embedded library can connect a home gateway (HGW) that has the audience rating library to collect viewership data. This system has already been tested in IPTV applications that utilize mutli-casting.

While recognizing user concern about maintaining privacy, OKI will include opinions from both IPTV service providers and users as it works towards standardization. OKI will add the system to its product lineup that includes OKI MediaServer, the video distribution server for IPTV, home gateways and set-top-boxes.

Diagram of system structure:
IPTV Distribution Centre, Multi-casting Network, STB, IDTV, Home Gateway, Audience Rating Library