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Video Breakthroughs
Monitoring innovations in post-production, head-end, streaming, OTT, second-screen, UHDTV, multiscreen strategies & tools
Curated by Nicolas Weil
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BBC : Making the TV Application Layer Open Source

BBC :  Making the TV Application Layer Open Source | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Building for Connected TV is complicated


The TV Application Layer originated from our ambition to run BBC iPlayer, News and Sport applications for Connected TVs on as many different devices as possible.

 

There are hundreds of different devices in the marketplace and they all use slightly different technology to achieve the same result.

 

Having figured out how to build an application on a specific device we want to use this knowledge to build additional applications for that device.

 

Our answer to this challenge is the TV Application Layer (TAL). By abstracting the differences between devices and creating a number of TV-specific graphical building blocks (like carousels, data grids and lists), we provide a platform upon which we can build our applications.

 
Nicolas Weil's insight:

A major contribution in the frontend development area !

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Nicolas Weil's comment, March 28, 2013 1:03 AM
Read also : http://www.iptv-news.com/2013/03/bbc-takes-its-tv-application-layer-open-source/
Khitam A Al-Utaibi's curator insight, March 28, 2013 6:24 AM

Wonderful news!!! 

As each new application faced a similar set of device specific challenges, such as media playback, animation or networking, we set about making the TV Application Layer a standalone product that could support our entire Connected TV product needs both now and in the future.

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Witbe unveils Test and Validation solution for Connected TV services at TV Connect [PR]

Witbe unveils Test and Validation solution for Connected TV services at TV Connect [PR] | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Witbe, the leading provider of quality management solutions for multimedia services over any network, to any device, will be unveiling a unique solution for connected TVs, during TV Connect inLondonthis month. Witbe’s Test & Validation solution will now enable content providers and application developers to benefit from comprehensive and automated quality testing of new services, prior to their launch on connected TV sets.

 

Witbe’s Test & Validation solutions are already used by some of the world’s largest service providers, application developers and device manufacturers on a comprehensive range of user devices including set-top boxes, iOS/Android apps and computers. As Witbe’s solution for connected TV leverages the same technologies used for testing other platforms, developers and quality assurance engineers can reuse their test scenarios across several terminal types and even test converged services.

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Orange to deploy HEVC-based VOD on Samsung Smart TVs

Orange to deploy HEVC-based VOD on Samsung Smart TVs | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Orange will introduce what could be the world’s first HEVC-based service this spring, delivering HD movies to 2013 models of Samsung Smart TVs in France. The innovation coincides with the launch of a new Orange VOD Connected TV service in partnership with Samsung, covering pre-2013 models as well.

 

The company revealed the partnership with Samsung at CES last week and was demonstrating the VOD service on the Samsung booth. A Full HD movie (1080p, 1920×1080 at 24/25 fps) was being played at 3Mbps thanks to the new video codec, which is due to become a standard imminently.

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Smart TV Alliance Announces New Partners, New SDK

Smart TV Alliance Announces New Partners, New SDK | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

New Smart TV Alliance members include manufacturers Panasonic, ABOX42 and TechniSat, and solution providers IBM and Specific Media.

 

The upcoming SDK captures the latest trends and features available to app developers so they will be able to deliver the most current and exciting apps for 2013 Smart TVs from LG, TP Vision and Toshiba. The new SDK features include:

Richer applications available from upgraded HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript specifications3D videoMPEG-DASH support with more reliable audio and video quality with less stuttering and freezingMore and better content choices with updated digital rights management (DRM) features that reflect DRM requirements from content owners
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Opening a new chapter for Connected TV

Opening a new chapter for Connected TV | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it
A new kind of app is emerging that could change the way Pay TV operators deliver their services via connected TV devices. Until now, the typical Pay TV connected TV app sits in the CE vendor app store, the consumer opens it, enjoys access to the Pay TV services, then closes the app and returns to the general television user interface. The app that TeliaSonera has developed with Samsung for its Nordic markets takes the telco’s customers directly to their TV experience, without having to access the app store.
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Smart TVs keep dumbing down our living rooms

Smart TVs keep dumbing down our living rooms | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

The living room's been something like a holy grail for electronics manufacturers for decades. It's the place where we spend hours every day sitting in front of our TVs, passively flipping channels and watching ads. Even as our smartphones and tablets vie for our attention, TV dominates: Americans still spend an average of 4 hours, 38 minutes a day watching the boob tube. Netflix, on the other hand, which is so popular as to command as much as half the US’s internet bandwidth, only commands 11 hours of our attention per month.

 

Set top box creators have come from every angle, vying for a piece of this lucrative pie. Roku, Boxee, Western Digital, Apple, Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, TuneIn — on and on the list goes, companies looking to get onto your TV. But these devices create as many problems as they solve, though, adding new remotes, inputs, and interfaces into a viewing experience that's supposed to be simple.

 

 

Theoretically, that puts TV manufacturers at an enormous advantage: if Samsung can design the whole interface, from Netflix to your DVR, it should be able to create a seamless experience that improves upon the disjointed universe of set-top boxes. Sony or Vizio could overlay content on top of your TV, so you can watch a show while reading tweets about it; Samsung already has a great ESPN app that just runs a ticker below whatever you're watching. Your set-top box can't do that, since it's on its own input and takes over the whole screen. Just about every manufacturer bought into this logic, and over the last couple of years store shelves have flooded with internet-connected, content-streaming "Smart TVs." But each of these companies has tried to develop its own interface, its own style, and every attempt has fallen flat. Smart TV interfaces are almost universally slow, clunky, and unnecessarily complex.

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BBC offers solution for connected TV fragmented market

BBC offers solution for connected TV fragmented market | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

While many connected television devices and displays now support web standards such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript, they invariably differ in their capabilities and conformance to standards. The BBC has developed an abstraction layer to decouple its own applications from these underlying device complexities. The corporation is planning to make its TV Application Layer available to third parties to help stimulate the market for connected television applications.

 

Although the emerging HTML5 specification is often seen as the solution to interoperable web applications, in practice there are many differences in compatibility between devices that claim support for web standards. This is a familiar problem on the web but the fragmentation of different flavours appears to be even more of an issue with consumer electronics products.

 

The BBC TV Application Layer or TAL attempts to deal with the differences between devices, such as remote control key mapping, media player interfaces, networking and storage. In theory this means that the BBC can develop and deploy applications on a well-defined interface without being aware of the specifics and idiosyncrasies of each device.

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Verimatrix presents Commercial-Grade Secure DASH Streaming and Secure HLS for Smart TVs at IBC 2012 [PR]

Verimatrix presents Commercial-Grade Secure DASH Streaming and Secure HLS for Smart TVs at IBC 2012 [PR] | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Verimatrix, the specialist in securing and enhancing revenue for multi-screen digital TV services around the globe, today announced that it will be highlighting the increasingly important role of multi-network revenue security at IBC 2012, including :

- Commercial-Grade Secure DASH Streaming – The world’s first protected MPEG-DASH standard streaming delivery system, demonstrated in collaboration with encoder and client device ecosystem partners.

- Enhanced HLS Security for Multi-Screen Devices – Secure live and on-demand adaptive streaming delivery using a single stream source to enable the broadest range of client devices. Demonstration will feature ViewRight® Web security for PC and Mac, iOS devices (iPad and iPhone), Android tablets and smart phones, and smart TVs.

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Turn your Connected TV into a Smart TV

Turn your Connected TV into a Smart TV | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Going through the rise of Collaborative Innovation we discovered how Intelligent Things embrace open innovation paths and collaborative design approach: actually Intelligent Things become clever by operating socially.

 

Last mile in our journey brings us to Smart TV. If TV becomes smart, does it metamorphose into an Intelligent Thing? And how can it leverage on collaborative innovation and harness the intelligence of the many?

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Developing Video Services for LG TV sets

Developing Video Services for LG TV sets | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Essentially, an LG application platform is a Web browser based on WebKit of yet not the latest, but however not a too outdated version. The platform has been stripped of all the functionality that could even hypothetically disclose its browser-based nature: there is no address bar, back or forward buttons or other buttons of any kind, it does not allow you to enter text into forms, display JavaScript-based alerts or use any debugging tools. Even the window.onerror event, which could be helpful in tracing JavaScript errors, has been uprooted. It is assumed that all the necessary features should be implemented exclusively using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Standard HTML form elements are supported, but not recommended for use. The vendor development tools include the platform emulator, but first of all, it exists only in Windows based versions, and, second, we have found it awkward and useless in view in the context that almost all the application features can be easily debugged in the Google Chrome browser.

 

In addition to the software features of the platform, there are also limitations inherent to the type of user interaction with the TV and their hardware functionality. Let’s discuss the main of them.

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Electronics Consortium Launches DDB, A New TV Platform With An Integrated Set-Top Box

Electronics Consortium Launches DDB, A New TV Platform With An Integrated Set-Top Box | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

The DDB Foundation today launched what it calls "The World's First Digital Entertainment Platform" known as Digital Direct Broadcast (DDB). It claims to offer all the features that current generation Smart TVs offer, and adds in a few of its own. These include an integrated set-top box (STB), better audio-visual experience, superior web browsing, and the ability to convert 2D channels to 3D. The foundation consists of STMicroelectronics, Videocon d2h, Philips, Irdeto, Nivio, Faroudja, and Strata.

 

DDB-enabled television sets will contain a fully integrated STB, eliminating the need for an external device. A 450 MHz dual-core CPU from STMicroelectronics will take care of the Full-HD video and audio processing. The new platform also offers 14-bit colour processing as against the 10-bit processing that is in common use, thus allowing display of 4 trillion colours instead of 10.6 million. However, we must make it clear that the final display quality will depend on the quality of the panel. There is also a technology that interpolates and constructs missing or dropped frames to make motion appear smooth. As mentioned earlier, DBB has an inbuilt algorithm that can convert 2D live channels to 3D, when the TV is capable of displaying videos in three dimensions, of course.

 

While DDB technology is already in existence, it will take a few months to actually make it to the consumers. The success of this platform depends on how well the foundation is able to keep the price in check and also on how many big TV manufacturers adopt it.

 

MORE DETAILS HERE : http://www.ddbfoundation.com/discover-ddb.html

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LG, Sharp And TPV (Philips) Form Smart TV Alliance with common SDK using HTML5, CE-HTML and HbbTV

LG, Sharp And TPV (Philips) Form Smart TV Alliance with common SDK using HTML5, CE-HTML and HbbTV | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Smart TV Alliance, an open-standards based app development platform that will allow developers to create one version of their software to run on TV sets from Sharp, LG and TPV, has been officially launched today.

 

Sharp, LG Electronics and TPV - a company that owns Philips' TV bussiness - are the current members of the alliance. The members' ambition is align on technology that will allow app developers to create apps and run them on all supported Smart TV Alliance platforms.

 

Smart TV Alliance utilizes open solutions technology and apps can be developed using open standard (HTML5) systems. A common SDK has been released using HTML5, CE-HTML and HbbTV.

 

SMART TV ALLIANCE WEBSITE : http://www.smarttv-alliance.org/

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Yahoo Courts Second Screen App Developers With New Tools To Connect Phones And TV

Yahoo Courts Second Screen App Developers With New Tools To Connect Phones And TV | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Launched in 2009, Yahoo’s Connected TV was one of the first platforms to introduce an open app development kit (ADK) for Internet-capable TVs. Now it’s making those apps even more powerful, by allowing developers to build apps that integrate TV and mobile capabilities.

 

The new ADK let developers connect their mobile and connected TV apps, supported by two-way messaging between the devices through Yahoo’s device communication protocol. That way, developers can build apps for smart phones and tablets that recognize what users are watching or games that are being played on the TV.

 

READ ALSO "Create second screen mobile apps using Y! Connected TV App Development Kit" :

http://www.yctvblog.com/blog/2012/05/24/create-second-screen-mobile-apps-using-y-connected-tv-app-development-kit/

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TV CONNECTÉE & SECOND ÉCRAN. LE DESIGN PARADOXAL

"TV CONNECTÉE & SECOND ÉCRAN.LE DESIGN PARADOXAL" de NURUN + INFOPRESSE 06 MARS 2013

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HEVC will boost Connected TV and fulfill multi-screen promise

HEVC will boost Connected TV and fulfill multi-screen promise | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

The new HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) compression standard will give Pay TV operators like Danish cable operator Stofa the opportunity to increase the quality of multi-screen video and that could have important implications for Connected TV. According to Thomas Helbo, CTO at Stofa, “It is an interesting idea to have high quality TV provided as a multi-screen solution to the big screen TV in the living room. Over the next 5-10 years we will see more services change from DVB-C (classic cable television) to IP and at the same time see an increase in the quality requirements for IP video streams.”

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Valery's curator insight, January 25, 2013 5:55 AM

Funny how you can read opposite things within the same week. To summarize : HEVC will improve quality but is no miracle.

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Samsung Expands TV SDK for Developers - Moves Closer to HTML 5

Samsung Expands TV SDK for Developers - Moves Closer to HTML 5 | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Samsung Electronics announced that it will be releasing the Smart TV SDK (Software Development Kit) 4.0 at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) from January 8th to 11th, 2013. The Smart TV SDK will allow Smart TV software development on Linux and Mac, in addition to Windows O/S.

 

By expanding and supporting HTML5 in the Smart TV SDK 4.0, a standard programming language, Samsung has laid the foundation for many software developers to easily take part in development of Smart TV applications which will also help reduce some of the fragmentation for developers and make is easier for cross development from the Opera TV SDK which is largely consolidating the rest of the TV market in terms of rendering engines.

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Best Practices for Building User-Friendly Connected TV Applications

Best Practices for Building User-Friendly Connected TV Applications | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

So I started doing some research to compile what I could on making apps for the connected TV platform. I tried to find all the API guides and docs I could find as well as some basic tips on creating a good user experience for the platform. I figured some of you could really use a single location to get all of this information and now you've got it.

 

First off, this is not about connected TV ad platforms, I already wrote that up. This is more about creating video + data experiences for consumers to view through their TV.

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Sony to embed Ensequence interactive TV platform in connected TVs

Sony to embed Ensequence interactive TV platform in connected TVs | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it
Ensequence signed a deal with Sony Electronics that could help ESPN, Turner Broadcasting, AMC and other networks deliver interactive advertising and programming to connected TVs.

Sony said it will embed Ensequence's interactive TV platform in all new TVs, beginning in the first quarter. Viewers that have purchased a 2011 or 2012 model from Sony can receive the platform through a software update, the companies said.

Ensequence and Sony will rely on automatic content recognition (ACR) technology to trigger interactive overlays in programming and advertising.
Nicolas Weil's insight:

On the same topic : http://goo.gl/1d1mv

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Xstream claims one-app-fits-all solution for Connected TV and game consoles

Xstream claims one-app-fits-all solution for Connected TV and game consoles | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Xstream has launched a White Label solution for Connected TV apps, claiming it is a one-app-fits-all solution covering both Smart TVs and game consoles (PlayStation and Xbox) that will therefore reduce time to market for companies needing a connected app. It is said to be one of the first White Label solutions for Smart TV apps anywhere and will cover the majority of the Smart TV market.

 

Xstream has developed a user-friendly interface that can be customized to fit any company’s branding and design guidelines or special needs, and this sits on top of an app engine that Xstream maintains. The company has already performed the user experience optimisation, DRM and API integrations needed, including “all the boring and time consuming stuff you need,” in the company’s own words. The app can be connected to Xstream’s online video platform, MediaMaker without further effort, or can be connected to other online video platforms via APIs.

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BBC : Building Connected TV Apps

BBC : Building Connected TV Apps | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Today the BBC iPlayer, News and Sport apps are available on an astonishing 650 connected TV devices, from internet-enabled or Smart TVs and set-top-boxes to media players and games consoles, delivering more than 45 million videos to 2 million users every month. Most recently, the BBC Sport app has been used by more than 200,000 users a day to watch the phenomenal London 2012 Olympic Games coverage on connected TVs alone, having only launched a few short weeks before.

 

While this is a remarkable achievement in itself, it certainly wasn't easy or straightforward, and I would like to share with you what challenges we have encountered, what we have learnt in the process of solving them and what we believe is important to consider for anyone looking at building applications for connected TVs.

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The Evolution of Connected TVs Leading to Second Screen Applications

The Evolution of Connected TVs Leading to Second Screen Applications | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Connected TVs are one step closer to receiving second screen support so TV viewers can have an interactive experience.

 

Content identification company Vobile today launched its TVSync Connected TV API platform, designed to enhance connected TVs and second screen applications for consumers.

 

Vobile is utilizing a more open developer platform so the connected TV is brought to smartphone, tablet, PC and SmarTV viewers. It’s “available to broadcasters, cable companies, publishers, content providers and others, TVSync’s open API leverages the best video and audio ACR (Automatic Content Recognition) technology of the industry leader Vobile, named VDNA®, to facilitate exciting new applications that synchronize, in real time, to the content a user is consuming.”

 

See technology page : http://www.vobileinc.com/technology.html

 

 

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Samsung Takes Smart TVs Into Microsoft's Cloud

Samsung Takes Smart TVs Into Microsoft's Cloud | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Samsung Electronics will use Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud-based service infrastructure to manage the delivery of apps and software to its Smart TVs worldwide, the companies announced Monday.

 

The CE maker sells Smart TVs and provides Internet-connected services in 120 countries — and plans to expand even further. Compared with the cost of expanding its in-house IT services, Samsung achieved a tenfold cost reduction by choosing to run that infrastructure in Microsoft’s cloud, according to the companies. Samsung also “observed greater speed of service in Asia, where it sees most of its Smart TV traffic,” they claimed.

 

In this context, you’re looking at a classic build-versus-buy scenario. According to Microsoft, other companies using Windows Azure include General Mills, LexisNexis, NASA and Television Broadcasts Ltd. (TVB), a Hong Kong-based TV broadcaster.

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Developing Video Services for Samsung TV sets

Developing Video Services for Samsung TV sets | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Every day, more Connected TVs emerge, so it is a high time to consider delivering your content right to your user bedroom. Doing this is pretty easy, you just need to develop a proper application. However at this time, the development process is different for each TV brand, which somewhat complicates the issue. Today, we will brief you on application development for Samsung SmartTV.

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Smart TVs : Good Features Demand Good Design

Smart TVs : Good Features Demand Good Design | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

There are many devices these days that have plenty of features. Samsung’s latest Smart TVs, for example, present a menu of functions, apps and services that number in the dozens. Taken separately, the range of things the TV can do is staggering — like searching for content across multiple services, hosting photos on a private, friends-and-family-only network and serving up fitness videos.

 

But all the features in the world don’t mean a thing if you can’t present them in a welcoming, intuitive way. Take a look at that Smart TV interface: there are 26 places you can go, and that’s before you scroll to another page. The tangled mess of cables behind my TV may have disappeared, but there’s a new source of confusion right on my screen.

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S3 Group Highlights Second Screen and Connected TV Automated Testing at The Cable Show 2012

S3 Group Highlights Second Screen and Connected TV Automated Testing at The Cable Show 2012 | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

S3 Group, a global enabler of the highest quality digital TV Content Delivery Platforms, is demonstrating the importance of second screen and Connected TV automated testing at The Cable Show 2012. The company will showcase how automated testing can make the difference between the successful adoption of new applications and services on connected devices versus a 'try once, turn off' experience.

 

Specifically, attendees will see:

- Connected TV Testing

- Application Validation

- Multi-screen Device Diagnostics

- StormTest Development Center

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