A cross-industry survey has been launched to investigate issues of platform standardisation of interactive television in Europe.

The iTV Standards Survey aims to canvas opinion from across the interactive television community about the issues involved in delivering services to more than one platform.

The data collected will be analysed as part of a research project being undertaken at University of London Imperial College. A collated summary of the results will be published by informitv.

The brief survey can be completed online and is open to anyone working in the field of interactive television.

iTV Standards Survey >
A cross-industry survey has been launched to investigate issues of platform standardisation of interactive television in Europe.

The iTV Standards Survey aims to canvas opinion from across the interactive television community about the issues involved in delivering services to more than one platform.
The study is designed to evaluate the extent to which those involved in interactive television believe that standardisation of application programming interfaces will address the problems associated with the delivery of multi-platform services.

The data collected will be analysed as part of a research project being undertaken at University of London Imperial College. All contributions will remain completely confidential and unattributed. A collated summary of the results will be published by informitv.

The brief survey can be completed online and is open to anyone working in the field of interactive television.

iTV Standards Survey >

Standard questions
The European Commission recently reiterated its support for open and interoperable standards for interactive television, but conceded that implementation should not be made legally binding.

The Commission accepted representations from interested parties that there was “no clear case for imposing technical standards at present” but will review the issue at the end of 2005.

MHP is a candidate as an open standard for interactive television in Europe, but many broadcasters have already made significant investments in other open and proprietary standards.

PCF offers another possible approach, using a generic service description language to enable a high level representation of services that can be transcoded to multiple middleware systems.

While declarative markup schemes may offer the potential to describe some types of service, some developers may argue that that certain applications will still need to be coded directly, either using a proprietary middleware software development kit or a standard application programming interface.

Although the adoption of a common standard such as MHP may appear superficially attractive, it does not necessary address all the issues involved in the interoperability of interactive services across different platforms and territories.

The degree to which regulatory intervention is required in order to promote standardisation remains contentious. Much of the lobbying that has taken place to date has been dominated by vested interests.

The iTV Standards Survey offers an important opportunity for those involved in all aspects of the commissioning, production, development and operation of interactive services to participate in the debate.

iTV Standards Survey