Friday, 12 October 2012

DTG releases connected TV spec version two

The UK Digital TV Group (DTG) recently released a new version of its connected TV specification – D-Book 7 part B.  ANT has been heavily involved with this version of the specification (I’ve been chairing the HTML work in this activity) and so it’s good to see it finally released.  This is an important step in the evolution of the D-Book, for two reasons.

First, this version of the D-Book is much more closely harmonised with the HbbTV specification, meaning that three of the main HTML-based specifications for connected TV (from the Open IPTV Forum, HbbTV and the DTG) are now closely aligned.  This makes it much easier for all of the digital TV specialists to get economies of scale from the development and deployment of HTML-based products and services.

Second, D-Book 7 part B is publicly available.  Until now, the D-Book has only been available to DTG members. While this may not seem very important, D-Book 7 part B adds some advanced web technologies over and above those currently adopted by OIPF or HbbTV.  While there are still questions about how widespread the deployment of these technologies is in smart TVs at present (and how usable they are on the current generation of receivers), that may not be the most important aspect of this.  Having this specification publicly available makes it much easier for HbbTV and OIPF to make sure that future versions of their specifications are aligned with the DTG.

Increasing harmonisation is not only good for the industry, it’s good for consumers all over the world, so the closer alignment of all three specifications – and the ability to easily align even further in the future - is a big step in the right direction.

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