Event triggers in television broadcasting enable interesting features
After almost one year of study the Event Triggering Workgroup hosted by Media Perspectives finalised two documents that specify how to enrich television distribution with frame-accurate programme related metadata.
The participants of the workgroup came to an agreement about the release of the technical specification which can support a number of applications. This could be trick-play enabling, accurate EPG scheduling and ad replacement. Other applications could be added in the future. The workgroup also contributed to several improvements of the standards themselves.
The applied technology is based on global standards published by the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE). Although there is a whole range of documents dealing with this domain, SCTE-104 and SCTE-35 are the ones of particular interest. The standards are essential, but in practice they leave too many options open between broadcasters and distributors to make things workable. These parties are well-served with agreements where they all can rely on as well as knowledge to get management, engineers and software programmers up to speed. Objectives that have led to the production of the Event Triggering Distribution Specification (ETDS) and the Event Triggering Distribution Specification Supplement (ETDSS) respectively.
Current contributors to the Event Triggering Workgroup are RTL Netherlands, Talpa Network, The Walt Disney Company Benelux, NPO, KPN, Liberty Global, VodafoneZiggo and TVT Media. The group believes that harmonisation of event triggering is useful and is interested in hearing from other stakeholders who share this vision. Please contact Media Perspectives for feedback, questions, if you wish to contribute or if your organisation wants to apply the guidelines for its own use. The papers can be downloaded from this website and may be updated from time to time. The group is chaired by Peter Schurman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Although the specifications are the result of collaborative work within the workgroup, they would not have seen the light of day without the skill, dedication and effort of Richard van Everdingen. Very many thanks are due.