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MHEG continues forward march

25 September 2009

IMPALA, the International MHEG Promotion Alliance, has announced that the latest version of the open standard iTV middleware has now been submitted to ETSI for its approval.

Version 2.0 of ETSI 202 184 – to give it its official title – contains a raft of very significant updates to the original ETSI MHEG specification from 2004. These include support for HD graphics with increased colour depth and screen resolutions, as well as the IP-based MHEG Interaction Channel. The latter enables hybrid broadcast broadband receiver operation via an IP connection.

The principles behind the MHEG-IC are to provide a seamless viewer experience of broadcast-delivered content augmented with content delivered over IP as an extension of the channel or network. There is also support within version 2.0 for PVR extensions enabling an EPG to be delivered effectively and efficiently as an MHEG application. In addition, support for an extended font repertoire is included, ensuring that most languages that use a Latin-based character set can be supported.

The ETSI Work Group, which was set up in October 2008, used the MHEG sections of D-Book 6 as the basis for its work. D-Book 6 (and now 6.1) was published by the UK’s Digital Television Group – the independent, platform-neutral and technology agnostic industry association for digital television in the UK – early in 2009.

Giri Valliappan, Director of Market Development with IMPALA, said: “The submission of MHEG 2.0 to ETSI is a significant milestone for the world’s most popular open standard interactive TV middleware. These developments are a step change in the capabilities of the globally deployed technology providing broadcasters with a cost-effective route into a new world of interactive service provision and therefore revenue growth.”

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