When Will The European Commission Wake-Up On ‘Digital TV Standards’ and Help The Consumer in Europe!


The European Broadcasting Union has called for an initiative on DTT standards for Hybrid TV!  The European Commission tells me the market will decide on an interactive TV middleware standards selection!  We all keep building them – different ones from different camps and we laud them and applaud them and then they do not go anywhere blocked by the very Broadcasters who wanted them!  Yes then we have the Broadcasters a little while later  crying out for Standards and the European Commission believes its playing its part!  I wrote a book in 2005 with a colleague called Interactive TV Standards ( http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0240806662 ) which was as a result of a huge industry push for Standards in the late 90s.  At the time the technology was not as advanced as today, however not that far removed from.  Java has stood the test of time…HTML morphs year in year out.   Today it is still Java and HTML so why do we need to invent more – CHOOSE ONE FOR EUROPE AND DEPLOY IT EVERYWHERE – MANDATE IT AT EU LEVEL!

The UK has this time refused to join the latest EBU initiative and plods on with MHEG5 and possibly HbbTV if YouView ever sees the light of day.  Italy has deployed a massive 12 Million of DVB-MHP decoders – Companies follow slavishly the Standards work spending millions of dollars to see the someone else invent something else to do the same thing and disrupt the market.  So why don’t we drop the standards game and just get on with an all out technology war so that we have an eventual winner?  Well we will not because we have a physical landscape in Europe that does not permit this – Economies of Scale for TV Manufacturers needs a Pan-European Standard.  The European Commission has failed to understand this part of the business and has allowed the lobbyists and dinosaurs who chair the committees to sway decisions, write half hearted reports, pretending the goals have been achieved.  Madame Croes, they haven’t served the European Consumer well!  The proof is in the latest call for Standards in Hybrid Broadcasting from the EBU who in the document name 3 Standards already built for the job.  What a mess!

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3 thoughts on “When Will The European Commission Wake-Up On ‘Digital TV Standards’ and Help The Consumer in Europe!

  1. Sorry Anthony, YouView is not HbbTV. In the UK,the DTG inspired but not adopted CTV references HbbTV and MHEG is effectively static now.

    Why would the EU mandate a Java standard with only one real mass deployment in Europe?

    1. Dear Keith,
      I was recently at a Conference in the UK where Richard Lindsay Davies told me HbbTV was selected. In my article I did not ask for a Java Standard to be mandated. I asked for ‘something’ to be chosen and mandated! There may be only Italy but Norway is MHP, there are others not convinced by HbbTV and MHEG5 static is certainly true as it is only UK based and very old technology. Unity Media in Cable and I believe Canal Digital in Satellite as well. NDS is java based also, and their deployments are extensive. Not forgetting BD-J in Bluray is Java based. As is Android. So convergence and hybrid would lean towards ‘consolidation’ in a middleware world which would not ignore a java environment. Once again (as also designed by the ITU for convergence) a combination of execution Engine AND Presentation engine would satisfy a modern broadcast/network/fixed media TV landscape. Richard Lindsay Davies mentioned HTML5 as being the probable uniting technology and I agree, however we all know that is still not enough!

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