Active-TV Technology for iPhone and iPod touch

Active-TV Technology for iPhone and iPod touch
Navigate YouTube

Navigate YouTube available at iTunes App Sore

An easy to use iPhone and iPod touch App that enables both new and advanced YouTube users to get the best from YouTube.

Browse video Standard Feeds, Categories, Channels and Playlists. Then organize new videos into your own favorites and playlists. Make playlists private or public. Subscribe to other user's playlists and video collections for future viewing. Subscribe to videos matching search-words.

Look at publicly viewable favorite videos, playlists and subscriptions based on your YouTube friends, family and contacts. Send and receive video links with YouTube contacts via YouTube video messages.

Search for new videos tagged for your language or geographical region, using local keyboard. Explore for new videos via easy switching of user ID to the owner of interesting videos - then explore their world.

All actions are kept in sync with PC, Mac or Apple-TV access to YouTube. Available at Apple App Store.

active-TV technology for PC

active-TV technology for PC
Windows PC based home network

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

MHP and OCAP too expensive ?

Active-TV Ecosystem Developers,

The Issue: Expensive STB technology continues to struggle to gain purchaser acceptance.
Background: low-cost MHEG technology has more market approval than relatively expensive MHP or OCAP.
Behind the scene: active-TV technology avoids significant STB cost adder, thereby improving prospect of market acceptance.

A press release from the recently formed organization to promote MHEG, IMPALA, provides some impressive Spanish market data in support of its objective.

MHEG (Multimedia and Hypermedia Experts Group) is a standard requirement in UK DTT Set-Top Boxes (Digital Terrestrial Transmission – DVB-t). Use of MHEG technology is also spreading to other markets.

MHP (or OCAP in is US form) makes use of more complex Java-based technology. This results in a more expensive STB. Applications built to the MHP format can be more complex than MHEG media applications, but the additional STB cost has met with considerable consumer resistance.

The active-TV technology approach supports even more complex applications than MHP, but avoids the extra STB cost by using the computational resources of a home networked PC or laptop. This can be mostly invisible to the PC user. A laptop user can be accessing the PC-web while a TV “user” uses the hone network to simultaneously access TV-web applications. Active-TV technology result in a different set of user trade-offs; But importantly, the cost of the STB is little affected.

MHEG and MHP technology are applied in “closed” STB systems. They normally don’t require or support internet connection. They were developed before widespread video sharing on popular PC-web sites. They were not intended to be bring the openness of PC-web video sharing to the TV via a TV-web-channel. This is achieved with active-TV technology. MHP emerged in the mid 90s as a means for 'closed system" broadcaster to produce the same TV user interface across STBs supplied from multiple vendors.

Feedback, corrections and comments welcome.
Daniel Mann

[From IMPALA press release ]

In the last quarter of 2006 in Spain, 437,000 DTT receivers (set-top boxes, integrated TVs and PC-enabled DTT cards) were sold, but only 514 were MHP-enabled. (Source: the DTT Association, Impulsa TDT). The main reason seems to be that MHP set-top boxes are significantly more expensive, costing from €120 or more, compared to around €50 or less for standard receivers.

For comparison a UK DTT set-top box including MHEG-5 middleware costs around €50. Overall, there are more than 3.3 million DTT boxes in the Spanish market, of which 2.7 million were sold in 2006. The very low penetration of MHP-enabled receivers in Spain and other countries makes it very difficult for broadcasters to build any viable commercial business models for interactive services.

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