In Broadcast - February 2013 - 30


I N T E R N A T I O N A L

WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 16 - FEBRUARY 2013

N E W S

InVIEW
Agile IP Video Delivery: Redefining STB Software Architecture Cont.

30

implementations from the TV
experience. It keeps the client simple
by migrating “heavy lifting” functions
to the server. Finally, it supports
consistent behaviour between
devices by leveraging server-side
capabilities.
The ideal STB architecture,
based on these principles, is
described in figure 1.
It assumes that the chipset or
system on a chip (SoC) supports
the features and performance to
match the target functionality the
operator wants to deploy. The
chipset vendor will also offer specific
software components associated
with their implementation – identified
in figure 1 as SoC, including drivers
for the capabilities provided. The
chipsets are then used by STB and
gateway manufacturers who build
essential capabilities such as LEDs,
power controls and features like
PVR. These functions are exposed
by the manufacturer using a software
development kit (SDK), which is used
by the STB client software.
The client software must take
full advantage of SoC and STB
software functions and provide a
porting layer to facilitate fast and low
cost porting between platforms. The
client layer includes must include the
following elements.
First, it requires an HTML5based UI rendering engine to
achieve several key objectives. This
provides maximum UI flexibility and
consistency with other IP devices. It
also allows the operator full control
of user experience using HTML5. As
well, it supports browsing to either
a walled-garden environment or
with full access to the open web.
The browser must be developed
and tested on an ongoing basis to
maintain support for proper rendering
of the most complex web pages.
The HTML5 support also
requires an application framework
to provide a rich consumer
experience for widgets such as
weather, news, games, sports;
access to operator applications
such as videoconferencing and
caller ID; integration with OTT
video applications such as HBO
Go and ESPN; and, web content
applications such as the shopping
network, voting, and play along. This
framework is explained in greater
detail in a following section.
The second element of the client
layer requires common enabling
functions. These are standard
enablers for IP video delivery
and include industry initiatives
that are pushing standardisation
of components across multiple
platforms and driving down time to
market, risk and porting costs. These
functions include content protocol
support for H264, AAC, MP2TS,

Figure 1: Redefined STB architecture

MP4; content delivery support
for Microsoft smooth streaming,
HLS, DLNA DMP, DASH; content
protection including Microsoft
PlayReady and DTCP/IP.
Thirdly, the client layer must
support core video applications
including STB management,
conflicts scheduling management,
scheduling, parental controls, EPG,
DVR and VOD. It should also provide
trigger handling for advertisements
and merchandising. Finally, it
should provide a highly optimised
architecture to separate application
logic from the user experience.
Fourth, the client should offer a
porting layer to attain the lowest
possible time and cost of porting
between STBs and SoCs. This
is achieved by abstracting the
hardware-specific items from the
application layer.
Overall, an HTML5 STB client
offers highly desirable benefits
such as a very rich user experience,
but care must be taken to realise
optimal performance. Espial is
working with industry leaders on their
reference 2013 platforms. Espial has
categorised STBs into three main
categories to understand the specific
balance between performance
and standards.

STB Capability Taxonomy
To fully leverage the advantages of
a HTML5 STB client, an operator
must carefully select the STB
platform they will use. Espial has
divided STBs into three categories
and analysed their benefits as
illustrated in the table on this page.
First, are limited capability STBs
which are unable to support a
HTML5 browser and have limited
graphics capabilities. These require
a highly optimised solution such as
Espial STB Middleware. Second are
transition STBs that are capable of
supporting an HTML5 browser yet
lack full graphics support. The third
category are STBs fully capable of
supporting HTML5 browsers and
advanced graphics.
By examining their existing

and planned STB models, payTV operators can deliver a highly
consistent user experience across
multiple STBs with the web and
advanced video applications
appropriate to each model.
Coupled with a powerful IP Video
Back-office platform, the operator
can also easily support userpurchased devices, such as Smart
TVs, that ship with a full HTML5 web
browser. Espial recommends that
operators carefully evaluate their
STB strategy in combination with
an associated IP Video Back office
to support future evolution. The IP
Video Back office is an important
element for providing a rich crossdevice, multiscreen user experience.
The platform should provide HTML5
UI distribution and management
from the cloud. Management
touch-points include subscriber,
account, user, device management;
product, promotions and package
management; consistency of
delivery between users accessing
services across multiple devices.

App Framework For
Rapid Innovation
Espial provides an advanced
application framework to accelerate
delivery of cloud-based web
applications. The framework is
based on JavaScript API functions
for TV, operator, and 3rd party web
apps. For the core video experience,
the API includes:
• Application discovery access to
cloud TV app repositories to list
available apps, categories, app
URL location, icons, and pricing;
• Application management
authenticate, purchase, start,
stop, and manage the switching
of browser windows between TV,
HTML UI and web apps;
• IP Back office management
the ability to handle app billing,
account management, in-app
purchases, and reporting;
• App display ability to control
whether the TV app is rendered
full-screen, overlay on video, halfscreen or widget style;

• App settings ability to manage
privacy, parental control, storage,
cookies, login, permissions for
middleware access (eg channel
zapping, or content-bound
triggers).
The API functions for the Web
Apps include:
• Interactivity triggers register for
automatic content recognition
(ACR) triggers based on live TV to
launch context-sensitive apps. For
example, the ACR could identify
a particular live channel such
as CNN and notify the cnn.com
web app, which in turn launches
an overlay of additional links or
information;
• Core TV Apps ability for web
apps to control video playback
(full screen, embedded, etc),
channel zapping, or retrieve guide
information;
• Companion devices allow
web apps to receive and send
notifications to second-screen
apps and receive remote
navigation and input including
gesture-based commands;
• Multi-user manage sign-off and
settings for multiple users;
• App storage leverage HTML5’s
persistent storage feature to
save application state info, user
information, and login state;
• Offline cache leverage HTML5’s
offline application cache to
facilitate caching of app content,
resulting in better responsiveness.

Conclusion
By leveraging the new STB client
architecture based on HTML5,
advanced SOCs, web standard
technologies and other components
outlined in this paper, pay-TV
operators can achieve:
• Respond more quickly to
consumers and competitors
with rapid service and application
innovation through tight coupling
between the STB hardware vendor
and quicker integration between
TV apps and web apps;
• Faster and less expensive
introduction of new STB hardware
and associated features through
lower costs and faster software
porting;
• High impact user experiences
based on industry standard web
approaches coupled with the
ability to render rich graphics;
• Consistent multiscreen user
experience by leveraging
common web technologies and
methodologies across devices.
Service Providers can take
advantage of Espial’s leadership,
innovation, and proven track
record of successful production
deployment with confidence in
business success.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - February 2013

In Broadcast - February 2013
Contents
InNews: Sony's F65 Shoots First UK 4K Feature
InNews: Channel 5 Russia Modernises with Orad Solutions
InSound:: Cobalt Digital's Loudness Solutions
InView: Agile IP Video Delivery: STB Software Architectur
InView: Boxx TV Squares Up to HD Video
InFocus: Real-Time Motion Graphics Workflows
InFocus: Meduza Set to Ship Titan 3D Camera System
InForm: Sintecmedia Acquires US-Based Storer TV
InPlay: Christie Shows Entero HB Displays Cubes
InTech: The Power Overheard of More Pixels
In Broadcast - February 2013 - Intro
In Broadcast - February 2013 - In Broadcast - February 2013
In Broadcast - February 2013 - Cover2
In Broadcast - February 2013 - Contents
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InNews: Sony's F65 Shoots First UK 4K Feature
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 5
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InNews: Channel 5 Russia Modernises with Orad Solutions
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 7
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 8
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 9
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 10
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 11
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 12
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 13
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 14
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 15
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 16
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 17
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 18
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 19
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 20
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 21
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 22
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 23
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InSound:: Cobalt Digital's Loudness Solutions
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 25
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 26
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 27
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InView: Agile IP Video Delivery: STB Software Architectur
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 29
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 30
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 31
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InView: Boxx TV Squares Up to HD Video
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 33
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 34
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 35
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 36
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 37
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InFocus: Real-Time Motion Graphics Workflows
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 39
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InFocus: Meduza Set to Ship Titan 3D Camera System
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 41
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 42
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 43
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 44
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 45
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 46
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 47
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 48
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 49
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 50
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 51
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 52
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 53
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InForm: Sintecmedia Acquires US-Based Storer TV
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 55
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 56
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 57
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 58
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 59
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 60
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 61
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 62
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 63
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 64
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InPlay: Christie Shows Entero HB Displays Cubes
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 66
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 67
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 68
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 69
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 70
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 71
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 72
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 73
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InTech: The Power Overheard of More Pixels
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 75
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 76
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 77
In Broadcast - February 2013 - S1
In Broadcast - February 2013 - S2
In Broadcast - February 2013 - S3
In Broadcast - February 2013 - S4
In Broadcast - February 2013 - S5
In Broadcast - February 2013 - S6
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201701
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