MHP or Web – “a la Dolvane d’Espial”


Most Companies have a great deal of “Self Interest” as do most Bloggers…So here is no exception from both sides: The CEO of Espial recently wrote a very short but woeful discussion point in the Espial Newsletter giving opinion on MHP or WEB…In that article he attempted to present the argument that MHP is a 15 year old technology and thet the WEB has developed faster and better…As a long term Digital TV Businessman, advocate of the DVB-MHP technology and Chairman of the DVB-MHP Commercial Module I think that I have the right of rebuttal:

If MHP (an interactive TV middleware) (Java based) had NOT developed then I would have agreed with Mr. Dolvane…however the DVB (in 2010) elevated the DVB-GEM Framework to a principal specification that points to market driven solutions and derivitives (MHP, Tru2way, ACAP, BML, BD-J). The work at the DVB on GEM is ongoing and is a Global framework that encompasses many SDO’s work and input. It is modern and up-to-date! The JavaTV product specifically designed for TV and embedded devices is also an ongoing body of work under the JSR scheme. Millions of JavaTV Developers worldwide contribute, work on and are involved withthe growth of JavaTV for TV yes specifically for TV. The web based Presentation Engine using HTML has once again (for the 3rd time after massive failures) re-entered the world of TV due to the fact that Broadband speeds can now accomodate these large Video files and we want to use that Internet infrastructure to deploy Video. The incumbent software on the Internet is Web Based technology…Yes it has evolved and yes millions of developers are available worldwide: Mostly designing Webpages for Websites…not TV Specific Products or interactive Applications. Those specialist few are but a few!

The claim that MHP is driven by “slow moving operators” shows a lack of understanding about the market Espial and the many others move in: It is by nature an industry that does not move all that quickly. The choice of a Middleware is/was taken and then rolled out for good or bad and those who dipped their toes into an alternative to “NDS and OpenTV” chose MHP…where else were they to have gone at the time? The choice was other competing proprietary offers like Liberate who were based on the WEB…and they went bankrupt…remember the many failures – WebTV, AppleTV, ATVEF, Liberate…Even NDS touts a GEM compatible Middleware today…

The fact is that Internet “Managed Services” a.k.a. IPTV appeared and naturally went down the WEB path – Not too great a success either in reality. Now the Internet allows “Unmanaged Services” or Open Internet Connected Devices to access Video Servers…Broadcasters spending Millions upon Millions (Look at my BBC commentary) to deliver for free – VIDEO ONLY via a graphic user interface based on WEB Technology. Hardly innovative and interactive!

The right technology to ride out Mr Dolvane’s Perfect Storm (Broadcast, IPTV, InternetTV, OTT etc.) is a software that does not drag Broadcasters and Operators down an expensive blind alley such as happened in the PC World; where the Software requires that you upgrade your PC each 18 months (Consumers will not accept the STB and iDTV in the same manner)…where constant OTW (Over the Wire) upgrades, security issues, Spam and other driver related headaches require you to be a Stay At Home WEB Administrator…

The Perfect Storm requires the Perfect Software which is BOTH an “Execution Engine AND a Presentation Engine” to cleverly marry both worlds. It is not “MHP OR WEB” but “MHP or Tru2way or ACAP or ARIB or BD-J and WEB” (which by the way was already available in 2006 for MHP)…If you are a member of the DVB and paid attention you would know this.

I am really both bored and tired of the “Methodology War” in interactivity for TV and am DEFINITELY an advocate for a “Coming Together” of minds on this tiresome subject as all Software has its weaknesses – None moreso than HTML – Finally the weakest of all is the the BUSINESS MODEL it all seeks to answer!

To Our horses…

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