Digital TV Group announces DTT Return Path working group
08 September 2006, London -- The Digital TV Group (DTG), the industry association for digital television in the UK, has today announced a new working group to define and deliver a specification for a broadband return path for interactive television on the UK digital terrestrial TV platform (Freeview).
In recent years there has been industry wide recognition for the need to enhance interactive services through the introduction of a return path. A return path will allow content providers to offer viewers a new range of applications including as voting, games, chat-like services (allowing viewers to send in comments and opinion), and interactive transactions for purchasing goods and services. In addition, it opens up the possibility of more advanced interactive services to enable data or streamed audio/video to be delivered over the broadband path.
The new DTG working group, DTT Return Path, is being led by David Cutts, director of Strategy & Technology, and founding members include BBC, Teletext and QVC. The working group will develop and deliver to the industry the specification for a broadband return path as an extension to the existing interactive TV software UK profile MHEG-5. (For avoidance of doubt this extension is additional to the current version of the current 1.06 UK profile of MHEG-5.)
"With the increasing availability of broadband the prospect of an always on interactive TV return path is now a viable option," said David Cutts, chairman of the DTT Return Path working group and director of S&T.
Interested companies are invited to join the working group, with a first meeting being scheduled for late September 2006. The DTG expects that there will be international contributions to this effort, which will provide input for international standardisation through the relevant standards bodies.
An implementation of an MHEG-based return path of the kind envisaged can be seen on Stand 1.210 at the IBC Exhibition in Amsterdam. This forms part of a demonstration of hybrid services developed by BBC Research that incorporates an MHEG-5 Engine provided by S&T.
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The Digital TV Group (DTG) is the focal point of the UK's digital TV industry. The Group, a not-for-profit membership organisation, brings the industry together to enable the successful delivery and evolution of digital TV and associated technologies.
The DTG publishes and maintains the technical specification for the UK's Freeview and Freeview HD platforms and Connected TV (the D-Book) and runs the digital television industry's test centre: DTG Testing.
To encourage international harmonisation, the DTG is engaged with DECE (Ultraviolet), ETSI, HbbTV and the Open IPTV Forum. The DTG allows Digital Europe to use areas of its copyright under licence.
DTG Testing tests digital TV products applying for the Freeview, Freeview+ and Freeview HD logos against the D-Book standard.
DTG Testing also manages the Engineering Channel for continuous maintenance of the UK's Freeview and Freesat platforms, and maintains a receiver collection for testing new transmission modes and software downloads.
The DTG and DTG Testing supports the development and deployment of next generation technologies such as LTE (4G), TV white spaces, second screen and home networking.