Tuesday, 10 May 2011

D-Book 7 released

The UK Digital TV Group (DTG) has recently announced the release of D-Book 7, the latest version of the technical specification for UK digital terrestrial TV services. This version is a big step from previous versions, including a whole new volume covering connected TV services. It won’t come as a big surprise to learn that D-Book 7 now supports both HTML and MHEG applications.

HTML support is based on the Open IPTV Forum specifications, using the HbbTV profile as a baseline but adding extra features to meet additional requirements for the UK market and adding more advanced graphics capabilities based on the HTML5 canvas element and CSS3.

What’s needed now is for service providers to start using this specification to develop services; while releasing the specification is an important milestone, the next steps are even more critical. We need real-world services and devices using and implementing the specification in order to identify any gaps and ambiguities and get to the point where the spec is understood well enough that we can deploy services that run on a range of receivers. We’ve already heard that YouView will be using this as part of the basis for their technical specifications, and I’m sure other service providers will also be looking at using some or all of it.

ANT has been heavily involved in the development of D-Book 7, and I’ve no doubt that we’ll see more and more services making use of it in the near future.

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