Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Taking in IBC

IBC has definitely not lost its buzz this year. From the conversations I have been having, the show seems to have attracted a good size crowd this year. What has really paid off for ANT this year, is our position. Our location in the EBU Village has placed us in the middle of conversations with broadcasters.

The turmoil with existing broadcast standards has been at the centre of a lot of these discussions. The restrictions of the red button service in the UK to extend to other web based services and similarly the restrictions of the MHP service in the Nordics, has driven excitement towards the HbbTV standard and our involvement.

What has been really interesting is the use of teletext across Europe. If you consider 1.2 million pages are accessed each week in Switzerland and 16 million in Germany, the importance of getting, news, sport and the weather through your TV is still very much an integral part of the viewing experience.

I’ve not had much chance to get around the show, so hopefully I will get chance to visit other stands today.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Video help

One effective way to teach a new user about a UI is to make a video tutorial, with a real live person to introduce the purpose of the UI and take the user through the steps involved in using it. Playback of the video could be played during an installation “wizard”, or triggered from a “help” button embedded in the UI itself, or offered as an option at the edge of the screen if the user seems to be hesitating with the next step of an interaction.

The new HbbTV standard for hybrid TV devices makes the task of including video help in applications about as easy as it’s possible to be – by virtue of its support for streaming video over a standard HTTP connection. Perhaps the hardest part will be producing the video in the first place – in a way that looks professional anyway.

What do you think – will video help become a common feature of HbbTV applications?

Friday, 11 September 2009

It’s IBC time again

An increasing amount of multimedia content has been targeted at the TV for some time now. Whilst, it is an exciting time for the industry, consumers have been surrounded by multiple remote controls and a service presented in a non-TV centric manner.

We believe that the TV is a great way to receive a variety of information and for the next few days we will be demonstrating our new managed service concept at IBC at the EBU Village (stand number 10.D21).

We’ll be showing how the consumer will be able to see a variety of content such as VoD (Video on Demand), internet radio stations, playlists and programme information, and daily news sites that feature video clips of the latest news stories; all direct from the TV.

I’ve answered a few questions on this latest announcement here:

Monday, 7 September 2009

See HbbTV in action at IFA

As IFA 2009 sets off with a bundle of new technologies for the consumer, I wanted to tell you about some exciting technology at the show that we’ve been involved in. Our news on HbbTV over the last week has attracted a great deal of interest but of course showcasing real life stuff is what it’s all about. If you’re at the show please go along to the ARD stand (Hall 2.2/101) and visit the Digital World section where we have, in partnership with Humax and KaonMedia, live demonstrations of HbbTV in action. It is truly rewarding to have something that we have been involved in for a while come to market and in my opinion really hit the mark. By this, I always run the "would I spend my money on this " test, and for the interactive web services converged with HD experiences we are delivering here I absolutely would. This is a great example of industry collaboration resulting in ....well take a look and let me know what you think.

Friday, 4 September 2009

ANT Galio HbbTV Platform

ANT today announced the launch of the ANT Galio HbbTV Platform. This follows our involvement in the “Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV” or “HbbTV” project, a pan-European initiative that merges the delivery of broadcast and broadband services.

As a consumer I’m excited by the services that are already being developed for HbbTV, visitors to IBC will get to see some examples of these next week. I’ll be updating the blog from the show next week and will of course keep you updated.

HbbTV is based on elements of existing standards including OIPF (Open IPTV Forum), CEA, DVB and W3C, further information can be found here: www.hbbtv.org

I’ve also answered a few questions on this latest announcement here: