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!