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Last Update: 20 Jun 2008
Applications

Cybercultus - Real Time Immersive TV Show (RTI-TVS)


B.A.P. [B]

Objectives

The "Real-Time Immersive TV Show (RTI-TVS)" project will be the first demonstrator enabling viewers to immerse themselves into an "Edutainment / Game TV Shows" and to compete in teams with the physical protagonists of the show.

 

The "Real-Time Immersive TV Show (RTI-TVS)" project intends to strengthen the use of advanced satellite communication technology and facilities using the new DVB-MHP iTV standard. The project is a software development project.

 

An appropriate 2D/3D authoring and rendering application for "Edutainment / Game TV Shows" has been implemented using a background 2D/3D engine generator for virtual spaces.

 

The "Real-Time Immersive TV Show (RTI-TVS) technology" is a solution based on an innovative concept called RAMO (Reactive and Adaptive Multimedia Objects). The concept define multimedia objects in terms of "States" and "Properties", thus allowing them to act and react based on their immersion context and surrounding. DVB-MHP rendering will enable advanced java capabilities to be supported.

 

The "Real-Time Immersive TV Show (RTI-TVS)" relies on existing and up-coming DVB-MHP hardware and software infrastructure, namely with respect to the set-top box technology and satellite return channel developments.


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The above TV screen shows an immersive virtual panel and a quiz application

Features

The RTI-TVS software project will operate on a global iTV infrastructure that integrates key elements such bi-directional satellite broadcast, Internet connectivity, MHP set-top boxes and digital TV monitors.

 

Such an infrastructure will allow "immersive & smart TV content" to be broadcasted and processed by the set-top boxes, interactions between users to be managed on a dedicated web server via their respective set-top boxes, user navigation to be enabled by appropriate pads and the rendered virtual display spaces to take place on digital TV sets. The broadcasted content is composed of linear content, dynamic content and application content. The synthesis of these three content layers by the set-top box, combined with Internet connectivity will secure true user immersion and community interaction capabilities.

A summary of the target operational RTI-TVS infrastructure is displayed below:


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The overall architecture of the RTI-TVS environment is composed of three main software entities, namely the RTI-TVS Client, the RTI-TVS Server, and the RTI-TVS Authoring Facilities.

The schema below shows the main software entities:

 


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Illustration of the "Virtual Show Authoring facilities":


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Illustration of the "Virtual Show Rendering facilities":


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Project Plan

The work has been carried out over an 18 months period. It was divided into 6 workpackages as follows:
  • WP1 Project Management
  • WP2 Requirements Specification
  • WP3 Core Background Tools Customisation
  • WP4 Core Applications Implementations
  • WP5 Demonstrator Deployment
  • WP6 Commercial Feasibility and Exploitation
In a first phase the project specified the RTI-TVS platform. In a second phase the project customised existing background technology in the field of 2D / 3D immersive spaces. In a third phase the project implemented the core modules (set-top box client, the processing server, and the authoring tools). Finally a "live satellite test" was performed to validate the concept.

Challenges

RTI-TVS solution provides a foundation upon which TV content producers, network operators and hardware manufacturers can author and deploy interactive applications and services.

 

RTI-TVS is based on advanced MHP rendering facilities for STB.

 

RTI-TVS solution supports satellite, cable and terrestrial broadcast networks with any level of connectivity - from one-way simple broadcast to complex bi-directional broadband channels. The architecture is open for a future integration with the Satmode bi-directional satellite system.

 

For set-top box manufacturers and network operators, RTI-TVS solution improves time-to-market and saves money by shortening the development cycle of iTV applications and by securing relevant content capable of exploiting their infrastructure.

 

It also provides a rich environment for building revenue-generating services and gives operators the freedom and options required to compete in today's dynamic markets.

Benefits

Using RTI-TVS solution makes your move into interactive TV a successful one:
  • Offers viewers exciting, intuitive, interactive services including gaming, voting and enhanced TV
  • Increase Average Revenue Par User (ARPU) with enhanced content
  • Help retain viewers and increase rating
RTI-TVS solution benefits platform operators, channel providers and TV content providers while giving viewers the features and services they want. It fidelises viewers and generates additional revenues with a wealth of exciting interactive applications:
  • Play along TV shows: "play along TV shows" allow TV channels and operators to engage and involve viewers to interact directly with content.
  • Voting: is a great way to get your viewers involved with the content they're watching, enhance channel loyalty and generate revenues.
  • Enhanced programming: whether a show is about nature, history and culture, passive viewers get active using their TV remote controls. They can interact with the program and learn more about what they're are watching.
RTI-TVS solution adheres to numerous television industry standards, ensuring interoperability and longevity. Main benefits are:
  • Hardware Independence
  • Modularity
  • Minimises Infrastructure Requirements
  • Support for Industry Standards such as DVB and MHP, Java TV

Current Status (dated: 12 Jan 2005)

The RTI-TVS project has been completed in December 2004 and has implemented a full demonstrator of the first "immersive quiz show" iDTV environment. The demonstrator includes all the "authoring" and the "rendering" facilities of the RTI-TVS platform. The facilities have been tested live with satellite broadcast, Internet return channel and an MHP user terminal.

 

The year and a half implementation of the RTI-TVS environment has been rich in experiences. We have had to address unexpected issues, such as different MHP implementations from different vendors, compatibility with MHP playout systems, non implemented of return channels in many of the "on the market" set-top boxes, rending limitations due to the very reduced hardware configurations of the set-top boxes (max of 200 Mhz CPU and 64 K of RAM). We have also learned how to optimise graphical resources, as well as synchronisation and latency issues.

 

Strengthen by this experience, and with the first concrete results achieved, we are now focusing on turning the RTI-TVS demonstration environment into an industrial product. We aim at a massive exploitation of our technology in the coming years, with a strong growth of the iDTV market expected from 2006 onwards.

 

All images courtesy of project team


Last Update: 20 Jun 2008
 
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