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A Comparison of the Multimedia Home Platform and OpenTV for Typical Interactive Television Applicati

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Digital Teletext chat, news and sports headlines ... ITV market mainly vertical i.e. It is ... Will the MHP packages become more tailored to suite iTV OR ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: A Comparison of the Multimedia Home Platform and OpenTV for Typical Interactive Television Applicati


1
A Comparison of the Multimedia Home Platformand
OpenTV forTypical Interactive TelevisionApplicat
ion Requirements
  • Sarah Hatton
  • Supervisor Shri Rai

2
Overview
  • Background to iTV
  • What is iTV the state of the industry
  • OpenTV MHP
  • Honours Project
  • What
  • Importance
  • Findings
  • Implications
  • Future Research

3
Background What is iTV
  • An extension of Digital Television
  • Users can do more than passively watch a
    television channel, they can actively influence
    the behaviour of broadcast television services
    and applications.
  • Interaction is done with the remote control

4
Background Types of Interaction
  • Two main types of interaction
  • Local interaction user can interact with the Set
    Top Box
  • Global interaction user can interact with the
    server. This is possible through the use of a
    return channel

5
Background Types of Application
  • Three categories of Applications
  • Navigator channel, program and service settings.
    Email, web browsers
  • Digital Teletext chat, news and sports
    headlines
  • Interactive Programs games shows, trivia
    quizzes, shopping, sports

6
Background State of the Industry
  • ITV market mainly vertical i.e. It is dominated
    by proprietary developments such as OpenTV. Each
    company has their own STB, middleware and
    applications.
  • Applications cannot be run on Set Top Boxes made
    for different manufactures
  • Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) aims to change
    this, and has been adopted by many European and
    Scandinavian countries eg Finland

7
Background OpenTV
  • Established 1994
  • Middleware brought out 1996
  • Most widely used platform, deployed on more set
    top boxes than any other single receiver
    manufacturer
  • Used by Foxtel in Australia
  • Have developed an MHP implementation BUT still
    develop in OpenTV O-code

8
Background OpenTV
  • Applications are written in ANSI-C and compiled
    into O-code
  • The API was designed specifically for television,
    unlike MHP
  • Reasons given by OpenTV for developing in O-code
    include retaining interactivity in legacy boxes,
    using OpenTV features not available in MHP

9
Background MHP
  • MHP stems from a program of the European Union to
    raise awareness of the benefits of a common
    platform for users to access multimedia content
  • 1997 the Digital Video Broadcaster (DVB) started
    the MHP Project
  • MHP work on a generic, common API to enable
    inter-operable applications to be downloaded from
    broadcast network and executed on receivers from
    any manufacturer.

10
Background MHP
  • MHP is not a programming language but a standard
    for ensuring compatibility between programs
    running on set top boxes that are of different
    architectures
  • Promotes the use of the Java Programming
    Language, specifically
  • DVB-J

11
Background DVB-J
  • Comprised of classes from 5 sources
  • Core Java - eg java.lang, java.util, java.io.
    Computer orientated UI widgets not included
  • JavaTV - accessing service information, content
    delivery, service presentation, Xlet interface
  • HAVi GUI components, TV related widgets, events
    and listeners
  • DAVIC MPEG transports, tuning and conditional
    access
  • DVB - broadcast transport files, service
    information, DVB related extensions

12
The Study
  • A Comparison of the Multimedia Home Platform and
    OpenTV for Typical Interactive Television
    Application Requirements

13
Research Investigation Areas
  • Investigate the differences in OpenTV MHP in
    terms of-
  • Ease of learning and use of API
  • Functionality provided
  • Size of applications

14
Importance
  • Developers
  • Broadcasters
  • Consumers
  • Legislative bodies

15
Related Research
  • Studies are generally action research
  • Many studies look at logistics of creating MHP
    applications
  • Earlier studies, examine the development of MHP
  • OpenTV has not really been looked at aside from
    internally through technical white papers
  • Some studies look at Migrating OpenTV
    applications to MHP
  • No studies directly compare the differences
    between applications created in DVB-J and the
    O-code.

16
Related Research
  • Several studies have investigated ease of
    learning and usage
  • Generally done though creation of application
  • Several studies have investigated functionality
    of languages
  • Size is a common complexity measure

17
Methodology
  • Uses a components of a typical iTV application
    (Trivia Game)
  • Design issues such as planes (similar to a layer,
    planes lie on top of each other), playing of
    audio and video
  • Criteria developed for ease of learning and
    functionality

18
Methodology Trivia Game components
  • Skeleton application with no onscreen presence
  • Text display
  • Video Display
  • Audio Playback
  • Background image
  • Foreground image
  • Timer
  • Register User interaction
  • Connect to server

19
Methodology
20
Methodology Criteria for Ease of Learning and Use
  • API Documentation
  • Programming Guides
  • API Availability
  • Development Environments
  • Coding Model
  • Clarity

21
Methodology Criteria for Functionality
  • Display
  • Planes available Transparency
  • Images
  • Format supported in different planes, sources
  • Video
  • Formats, Scaling, Sources, playback methods
  • Audio
  • Formats, sources

22
Methodology Criteria for Functionality
  • Text Display
  • Sources
  • User Input
  • Recognised input methods
  • Timer
  • availability
  • Connect to server
  • Protocols supported

23
Methodology
  • Ease of Learning and Use
  • assessed while learning to use OpenTV and MHP
  • Functionality
  • assessed during the learning and creation of
    applications
  • Size of Components
  • examined after applications created

24
Results Ease of Learning and Use
  • Documentation
  • MHP fragmented (Standard, independent javadocs)
  • Not MHP specific
  • OpenTV, complete and concise
  • Programming Guides
  • Limited for both
  • API Availability
  • DVB does not supply
  • OpenTV freely available

25
Results Ease of Learning and Use
  • Development Environment
  • MHP standard java
  • OpenTV gcco compiler is supplied
  • Coding Model
  • MHP Object orientated
  • OpenTV uses gadgets to mimic object orientation
  • Clarity
  • Both clear and easy to use

26
Implications Ease of Learning and Use
  • For a developer with no prior experience, MHP is
    more difficult to learn due to distinct lack of
    resources
  • OpenTV provides much better documentation and
    tools.

27
Results Functionality
  • Display
  • Planes available - same basic 3 and additional
  • Transparency - OpenTV does not support
    transparency between image and video plane
  • Images
  • Format supported background plane OpenTV only
    supports PIX images in background.
  • Format supported graphical plane same for
    OpenTV and MHP
  • MHP has access to more sources than OpenTV ie
    remote server and stored on carousel

28
Results Functionality
  • Video
  • Formats same (MPEG)
  • Scaling same (can specify ratio)
  • Sources OpenTV only has access to video stream,
    MHP uses remote servers
  • Playback methods MHP has drip feed
  • Audio
  • Formats MHP supports MPEG, not AC2/AC3
  • Sources - OpenTV only has access to audio stream,
    MHP uses remote servers

29
Results Functionality
  • Text Display
  • Sources -same
  • User Input
  • Recognised input methods OpenTV doesnt
    recognise full keyboard only remote control
  • Timer
  • Availability -same
  • Connect to server
  • Protocols supported- both support TCP/IP, UDP/IP,
    additionally MHP has DSM-CC-UU-RPC (only needed
    for object carousel)

30
Implications Functionality
  • Opaqueness between planes not supported in OpenTV
    designers need to keep this in mind
  • Audio Formats NTSC uses AC3 (Dolby digital)
  • OpenTV is clearly tailored to TV, MHP is not
    (access sources, user input)
  • Remote sources of video and audio, assumes a
    constant broadband connection which is not
    necessarily the case (many STB have 28K modems)

31
Results Size
  • Lines of Code required by each of the nine
    components.
  • No significant difference in code requirements
  • OpenTV was more efficient at accessing video and
    audio

32
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33
Implications Size
  • No clear advantage with either system in terms of
    Lines of Code
  • OpenTV is clearly developed for TV, efficient at
    doing purely TV associated functions (audio and
    video)
  • OpenTV is possibly easier to maintain

34
Questions Raised
  • Will DVB see the need to improve MHP
    documentation
  • Will the MHP packages become more tailored to
    suite iTV OR
  • Will iTV and Internet become merged in the future
  • Will MHP support more than one audio format
  • Will set top box standards be raised so all
    support same planes

35
Limitations
  • Research was done purely from the perspective of
    an application designer embarking on their first
    iTV application
  • There is always more than one way to implement
    something, as such different researchers would
    obtain differing results

36
Future Research
  • Ideally look at broadcasting, loading and
    execution time
  • Other types of applications eg navigators as
    possibly one system is more suitable than other
    in a different usage scenario
  • Larger scale, surveying of industry, many
    developers seeing the problems they have
    encountered, size of their applications

37
Questions
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