I know that I appear anti HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband Television) but it is not quite true – My Company has a partnership in this initiative; however we are naturally more observer than participant and that is because I am sceptical about the way forward due to myexperience in this business…I am, those that know me well and those getting to know me, very pro DVB- MHP because first of all I am the Chairman of the Commercial Module on this Specification and secondly I have been deploying it for the last 7 years. In fact my Company has built and deployed it in a Hybrid Broadband Broadcast Television environment since a long time whether you like it or not…And it is an ETSI Standard from a DVB specification, well crafted, ahead of its time and we should in all new initiatives re-use DVB specs wherever we can and not “re-invent the wheel” each time a new techie leaves university and enters the fray or a tech group looks for work to do to justify their existence –
The IPTV geeks and the Broadcast geeks are even divided inside the DVB organisation with a general bun-fight between the Java clan and the HTML clan when it comes to applications and middleware….Microsoft and Intel tried hard to have HTML as the foundation for MHP but it didn’t happen for a reason. Those reasons I believe have not changed and that is that a Presentation Engine is not an Execution Engine and therefore innadequate for a complex multimedia environment (that was why Flash was invented and other technologies to give a richer environment on top of HTML). So why should Digital TV march backwards. Browser interoperability is a major hicough in this mix as well.
MHP and GEM (www.mhp.org) with HTML services in Telco, Cable and Satellite markets are being deployed. MHP is being deployed in DTT markets as well. However in any DTT environment it is not a “Hybrid Specification” that will physically make a cable connection in someones home. “Horizontal markets” always leave it up to Consumer to connect their products to their PC’s or Telephones to Networks and TVs to STBs etc…and they do not all have a PHD in Electronics and a Web System Administrators background. We all want to solve the Hybrid Application interoperability issues and the Business Model issues in DTT but that will require all equipment to be connected to Broadband 100% of the time to create a HYBRID NETWORK. I repeat, it is connectivity that matters. We have been trying to get consumers to connect the return channel cable via PTT, ADSL, we have even had a go at GPRS modules, Bluetooth and other flavours but NOTHING has worked. For 10 years it has been a miserable failure and continues to be…I know this stuff intimately and invite you to come and look at my home and show me how to connect my ADSL to my Internet STB and TV and Satellite and PVR and Storage device and and and without costing me a fortune in peripheral equipment and or fully re-wiring my home!
I would love to see the DVB (www.dvb.org) concentrate on an Open Standard for an “in house connectivity solution” (the last 2 metres) even if it is Wifi related incorporates some DVB elements but WORKS … (The Home Networking initiative failed in DVB because there are too many technologies all vying to rule the roost) … (Home Gateway is anotherthorny issue which is in Standards turmoil as it has too many parameters to deal with in a fragmented world). Once we see that users will connect their TVs and STBs to their Broadband Pipe “without fail” then we can look to bring the Hybrid Broadcast Broadband Television business models into play (If we discover them). Until that time I will knock any initiative that does not properly investigate and address the issues. You develop whilst we deploy.