MObile TV Services Whatever Access Network
TV services are delivered via a number of different access networks. For Mobile TV alone, optimization of the network infrastructure costs for different reception conditions over 100% of a territory require to take advantage of different access network technologies.
The aim of the MOTSWAN project was to develop advanced technologies allowing a convenient user experience for the end user whatever the access network technology is.
The main focus was on Mobile TV services, i.e. services available on a handheld device, whatever the access network, i.e. including home reception of ADSL TV via a home Wifi link or public access via Wifi or Wimax.
This includes the following functions: service discovery through ESG (Electronic Service Guide), service subscription, access control to services (service protection and rights management), interactive TV, service access in “roaming” situation, mobile TV services including personal and context aware data services – see in figure 1 the architecture of the project.
The preliminary objective of MOTSWAN was to use DVB-H, because Mobile TV services were becoming popular, DVB-H networks were being opened and terminals were published but not yet available. Streaming services were also popular but problematic to operators because of limited bandwidth. At the beginning of the project, DVB-H was the future technology for Mobile TV. Streaming services would only be used to fill in gaps in the DVB-H coverage, and additional services were to be implemented to complement the broadcast TV service (e.g. betting, VOD/PushVOD).
However, the operation of the DVB-H network has been terminated in 2010 due to low popularity (no terminals available), and Nokia announced to stop development of Symbian (the only available terminal was Nokia N8).
This resulted in different resolutions in the project. The selected demonstrations with DVB-H were kept, as the same mechanisms apply also for DVB-T and the future DVB-T2: mobile broadcast, hybrid concept of combining broadcast and unicast technologies (TISPAN IPTV standardisation).
New platforms have been taken (Android, Windows Mobile) to test new kinds of Mobile TV Services in a broader sense (without broadcast support).
More effort has been put to the concept of context aware auxiliary services – a concept covering the whole chain from service deployment and management to personalization and consumption has been covered.
Figure 1: MOTSWAN architecture
Two main demonstrators have been built to show both functionalities:
The demonstration combines auxiliary services to Live TV: provisioning to multiple mobile platforms, metadata management, context (location, preferences) sensitivity and personalization.
The user can watch live TV either using DVB-H reception or HTTP stream, view the programme guide (ESG), and has access to a personalised video-on-demand listing. All of these services can be enhanced by introducing auxiliary services and presenting them to the user regarding the user’s preferences and location and the current media content. For example, if the user is watching the sports channel, the stream also contains sports related advertisements. Alternative delivery means for the same content are also defined as enhanced services.
The content is never statically linked to a specific item, but all content is stored in the MOTSWAN service platform and is linked at runtime using a recommendation service. The user preferences can be defined by the user using an editor in the mobile client. The preferences contain information such as genres that the user likes, or content types, e.g. video or web.
Figure 2: MOTSWAN auxiliatory services
The demonstration can show the TV continuity through different accesses: DVB-H, DVB-T, Web TV, Home Box TV – see in figure 3 the flow-chart of the demonstration.
The demo includes continuity of service protection and audience measurement.
TV services are delivered simultaneously through different DVB broadcast signals and HTTP streaming from an over-the-top server and a home box, provided with an homogeneous set of ESG/EPG (Electronic Programming Guide) and synchronized meta data.
On the client side, the same TV content session can switch between different available accesses through a multi standard receiver and the ESG.
A unified content protection scheme is provided for broadcast and streaming, together with an audience measurement solution.
Figure 3: Flow-chart of the MOTSWAN demonstration
Expected impact of the results
Services and solutions developed in the project will be used commercially in the future. The results are a good basis for new competitive products and services, like EPG generator, homebox and key generator in Conditional Access.
Further information is available at http://www.celtic-initiative.org/Projects/Celtic-projects/Call6/MOTSWAN/motswan-default.asp