Timeline of Interactive TV technologies

Here is an update with APPLE and GOOGLE latest moves.
We can now clearly see that HbbTV V2 is now focused on joining HTML5 technologies.
Now we will see how H265 (aka HEVC) codec will be handled on the browser side ...
Right now H264 has been brought by CISCO inside WebRTC's component.

Timeline of Interactive TV technologies

This is just a scheme of my point of view and my experience with some tools I used.

As you can see, it seems that HTML5 is THE ONE to rule them all !!

I just put this scheme on my LinkedIn profile as we can now avoid the GoogleDoc plugin.

MPEG-DASH support in CHROME ?

As you are now aware, HbbTV 1.5 has moved toward the standard MPEG-DASH for streaming and it seems that GOOGLE Chrome is implementing it inside its well-known browser.

html5 mpeg dash
For more information about it, just have a look at this article.

HD Forum releases TNT2.0 specifications v1.1

Among various topics, the HD Forum has worked during the last 2 years on the TNT2.0 project. The goal was to coordinate the launch of HbbTV interactive services in France.

This effort is done in partnership with the HbbTV consortium and led to an upgrade version of HbbTV standard, version 1.5 and a first recommendation for DRM's (MPEG-DASH, Microsoft PlayReady without silverlight, and MARLIN).

HbbTV 1.5 supporting DRM (Digital Rights Management)

By the way you may have noticed that Microsoft has announced the support of MPEG-DASH in Microsoft Azure, which will help its adoption. VLC 2.0.x has also integrate DASH in order to play such streams.

=> The HD forum document (PDF file in English) is available right here (21 pages).

Please note that the HD Forum is aimed at helping and promoting the development of innovative technologies for the French Digital TV environment.

French HDTV channels quality improved this summer

This July 2012, TDF (French operator of shared facilities and terrestrial networks in Europe) has updated the MR5 mutiplex channels from HDV 1080i (1440x1080) to HDTV 1080i (1920x1080). The 3 High Definition MR5 channels are :

As you may see, the main improvements are:

- better resolution that fits to standard LCD/Plasma TV used to play with 1920x1080

- an almost 30% gain in quality

- no increase in bandwidth thanks to TDF expertise in MPEG-4 encoding

- no need to change your TV set

This upgrade has been done by TDF last June 23rd as TDF is managing the head-end of MR5 multiplex which is in place at the Eiffel tower.

HDV is nearly the 1440x960 one (in the center and in green in the following diagram)

Various VIDEO resolution standards

We will also have 6 new brand DTT channels at the end of this year ... wait'n see ...

The source of this article is right here (written in french by the HD Forum group).

The Amazing Spider-Man using an HP48 calculator

Amazing Spider-Man movie
I don't know if you have noticed this scene in the movie but the superhero's father was using an Hewlett-Packard calculator as many scientists used to have. Here is a capture at nearly 10" from the beginning:

amazing spiderman hp48 scene capture
Note that in HD resolution, we can see that this HP48 got a blue logo, meaning this is an 48GX.
(There is also a rumor that the Amazing Spider-Man BLU-RAY disc will be released next November)

The HP-48 series were one of the best-selling calculator ranges among engineers, scientists, and students.

I did focus on this movie part as it makes me thinking that I am getting old. Indeed I was a big FAN & user of such calculators (HP28 then HP48) in the Eighties, I didn't noticed that 10 years have already passed.

Although time seems to fly, it seems that calculators can still bloody improved themselves:
- can handle colors
- can even simulate games such as DOOM
- have enough horsepower to emulate other devices
- ...

DOOM on TI-nspire CX

There are also CASIO Prizm calculators that can handle it but it's not damn fast:

Nowadays I am pretty sure that Mobile phones and tablets have taken the throne. Such power in palm hands ... Finally Calculators (but also PDA, Netbooks, Palm) have to Rest In Peace. This is just a matter of facts and we have to live with it. Everything on earth have its days numbered.

Moreover I am not really sure that it is damned Ecological ... such devices with time are used to be thrown deep inside our selves, playing with dust and being destroyed by acid battery leaks.

HbbTV V1.5 specifications have been released

Yesterday the HbbTV consortium has officially put the specification draft available for all.
You can download this PDF document right here.

HbbTV new extensions from previous release V1.1.1

As you may see, the main improvements are:
- support for HTTP adaptive streaming (based on MPEG-DASH known as ISO/IEC 23009-1 which specification is not freely available)

- give the availability of protecting DASH delivered content with potentially multiple DRM technologies based on the MPEG CENC specification (aka ISO/IEC 23001-7)

- the DVB-SI layer for Electronic Programme Guides (aka EPG) has been enhanced to support full 7-day metadata thru EIT p/f tables

- the HTTP User-Agent header has been updated from "HbbTV/1.1.1" to "HbbTV/1.2.1"

This document will be approved in the future by the ETSI that will then integrate it in the document ETSI TS 102 796 V1.2.1
I dunno why they have put this version number. Perhaps they consider this step as an update (no major changes).

They are now working on the draft of HbbTV V2.0

For this upcoming release, I just hope they will put in CSS3, HTML5 Canvas and WebSockets (already described in CEA-2014 document) as many manufacturers are using a WebKit core engine for their internal browser.
Fingers crossed ...
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