A new specification promises to bring together the presentation of television services delivered over broadcast and broadband. The DVB-I specification has been published by the DVB Project as BlueBook A177, following approval by the DVB steering board in Geneva.

The DVB-I specification essentially enables internet-connected devices to access a list of television services available to the user over the network and present these as channels in a similar manner to traditional broadcast television.

Where both broadcast and broadband networks are available to a device, it enables the presentation of an integrated list of services, combining broadcast channels and those delivered over the internet.

“In developing an internet-centric solution for linear television services, we are providing the industry with a crucial missing piece that raises internet-based delivery to the same level in the DVB ecosystem as RF-based content delivery,” said DVB chair Peter MacAvock. “With these building blocks, addressing the discovery of DVB-I services and the delivery of programme metadata, DVB offers broadcasters and operators an exciting new deployment option.”

The 140 page long DVB-I specification defines how DVB-I Service Lists enable internet-connected devices to find curated sets of linear television services that may be delivered through broadband or broadcast mechanisms. It also defines the methods to retrieve electronic programme data for those services, which can be integrated into a single coherent offering that is accessed through a consistent user interface.

With the publication of the DVB BlueBook, implementers can now proceed with the development of DVB-I-enabled clients, while broadcasters and other content providers can take the necessary steps to make their services available via DVB-I.

The DVB Project is planning to commission a DVB-I reference application and to demonstrate the initial results at DVB World 2020 at Valencia in Spain, 9-11 March. The resulting DVB-I client will be made freely available under an open source licence.

The DVB Project recently also updated the DVB-DASH streaming specification, DVB BlueBook A168, was recently updated to include a low-latency mode.

A forthcoming specification for multicast adaptive bit rate streaming, DVB-mABR, aims to support the mass market scalability of internet-delivered linear television.