The Digital TV Group (DTG) has announced a new working group to define and deliver a specification for a broadband return path for interactive television on the UK's Freeview platform.
The DTG said that providing a return path digital terrestrial television would allow content providers to offer viewers a new range of interactive applications including voting, games, chat-like services (allowing viewers to send in comments and opinion), and home-shopping services.
In addition, a return path would open up the possibility of more advanced interactive services to enable data or streamed audio/video to be delivered over the broadband path.
The new DTG working group, DTT Return Path, is being led by David Cutts, director of Strategy & Technology, and founding members include the BBC, Teletext and QVC. The working group will develop and deliver to the industry the specification for a broadband return path as an extension to the existing interactive TV software UK profile MHEG-5.
"With the increasing availability of broadband the prospect of an always on interactive TV return path is now a viable option," said David Cutts, chairman of the DTT Return Path working group and director of S&T.
Interested companies are invited to join the working group, with a first meeting being scheduled for late September 2006.
Meanwhile the DTG has appointed BBC engineer Simon Gauntlett its new technology director. Gauntlett will set the strategic technical vision of the organisation, supporting DTG Technical Council, and directing the group's technical programme and technology team. He will also provide important technical advice to DTG members leading up to and during digital switchover.
"As an active player in the digital TV industry, and recently high definition TV, I believe DTG members and the Government have an exciting opportunity to realise the full growth potential of digital TV services in the UK," said Simon Gauntlett, currently an engineer for the BBC's Research and Development division.
"One of my key responsibilities will be to coordinate the views of DTG members and to make sure everyone is moving in the right direction for the benefit of UK consumers."
Richard Lindsay-Davies, Director General of the Digital TV Group, said: "Simon is a highly respected broadcast expert and will be a real asset to the DTG, its members and the wider industry. Simon will play an important role in rolling out DTG's new strategy as it moves into the next phase of industry growth."
Lovelace Consulting | 11.09.2006