The FreeTV Alliance, the broadcast industry association founded by four leading European free-to-view satellite operators – Fransat (France), Freesat (UK), HD PLUS (Germany), and Tivùsat (Italy) – has today announced the availability of the first of its new suite of technical specifications. The release of the Remote Control Specification will provide a common way for an operator’s mobile application to control the TV viewing experience on the TV screen. The release is in-line with one of the Alliance’s stated objectives to provide a common set of technical specifications for the television industry based on open standards.

A broad set of specifications is planned for release over the next 12 months. The primary purpose of the FreeTV Alliance is to support the growth of free-to-view satellite TV services, by making it easier and more economical for manufacturers to develop innovative new products that deliver a superior customer viewing experience.

The FreeTV Alliance will develop test suites to support the specifications, which will aid manufacturers in their implementation of the specification. Certification of devices will be managed initially on an operator-by-operator basis. The finalised Remote Control Specification will be published and made available to interested parties through the FreeTV Alliance’s website within the next month.

“This new specification initiative is absolutely in-line with the stated aim of the Alliance to promote the harmonisation of satellite TV services and technology across Europe,” said Alberto Sigismondi, CEO of TivuSat and the Chair of the FreeTV Alliance. “All four founding members are looking forward to working with our hardware partners through the testing phase and then to implementing the first of these specifications in the very near future.”

Commenting on the announcement of the new specification from the DVB World Forum in Copenhagen Matthew Huntington, CTO of Freesat, said: “I am very pleased to be able to confirm that the FreeTV Alliance is releasing its first technical specification – the first in a suite of technologies that will help to remove complexities for manufacturers and provide better services for all of our viewers.”

The initial set of the FreeTV Alliance suite of specifications currently under development include:

  • Remote control specification – provides a common way in which an operator mobile application can control the TV viewing experience on television devices.
  • Remote record specification – provides a common way that a PVR capable television device can work with an Internet based remote record service.
  • Common device certificate scheme – will enable manufacturers to manage a single set of device identify certificates across multiple operators.
  • DRM Framework for SAT>IP – will enhanced the SAT>IP standard to support the conversion from broadcast CA to DRM for secure in-home content distribution.
  • Operator application management specification – will define an applications life cycle and required APIs for HTML based operator applications and portals for television devices.
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By Expat