Monday, 24 October 2011

D-Book goes connected

The UK Digital TV Group (DTG) recently announced the publication of version 7 of the D-Book, the interoperability specification for digital terrestrial TV in the UK. This is a major update for the D-Book, bringing connected TV to the forefront and aligning the UK’s work in this area with activities in other industry bodies.

The DTG has taken the approach of building on existing standards, but extending them where necessary to meet UK-specific needs (such as interoperability with MHEG) or to add features that were not stable at the time HbbTV was published. Although based on HbbTV, D-Book 7 adds support for additional parts of the OIPF specifications, for advanced graphics capabilities defined in HTML 5 and CSS 3, and for smooth media streaming over IP.

ANT has been heavily involved in this work , and we see this as a huge step for connected TV in the UK. This not only gives manufacturers and application developers a common standard to work to – it gives them a standard that’s aligned with other HbbTV deployments in Europe. D-Book 7 goes beyond HbbTV in terms of features and functions, enabling it to offer more advanced services, but also remains compatible with basic HbbTV applications.

While the UK’s early adoption of digital TV put it ahead of many countries, the choice of MHEG-5 did leave the UK as a “digital island”. D-Book 7 offers the UK TV industry a chance to resolve that and gain from further economies of scale, while retaining its leading position in the development and deployment of interactive TV services.

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