A new version of the GEM interactive specification is to include support for the delivery of over-the-top television and Hybrid Broadcast/Broadband (HBB).
GEM v1.3 was given the approval of the DVB Steering Board at its recent meeting and follows work by the ad-hoc group TM-MUG, chaired by Oracle’s Michael Lagally.
GEM (Globally Executable MHP) has been adopted by US cable’s technical body CableLabs, which uses the standard as part of OCAP, and the Blu-ray Disc Association. There are also significant European deployments in Belgium and Italy
“This extension to the standard offers great potential to create advanced hybrid broadcast/broadband and over-the-top services,” commented Peter Siebert, Executive Director, DVB.
GEM v1.3 defines an over-the-top (OTT) device category (target), which addresses media distribution over broadband networks without guaranteed bandwidth such as the Internet. The OTT target complements the existing GEM targets for broadcast, packaged media and IPTV.
The OTT target offers new APIs the ability to address particular OTT scenarios for content streaming and download and can be used for adaptive streaming deployments. For hybrid broadcast/broadband deployments GEM 1.3 offers API enhancements to synchronise media content over different networks. This feature can be used to offer, for example, additional subtitle languages or audio tracks for broadcast content.