This standard makes it possible, among other things, to keep the electronic programme guide constantly up-to-date with the actual broadcasting times. Viewers can also fast forward and rewind more accurately. For broadcasters, the new programme signage offers the possibility of personalised advertising, for example aimed at certain regions or target groups.
The standard is the result of a year of intensive consultation between broadcast experts in the Programme Signaling Working Group. The working group is an initiative of Media Perspectives, the platform for media and innovation in Hilversum. The seven parties participating in this consultation will discuss the standard further in 2019.
Marcel Korstjens-Alling, Head of Commercial Technology at RTL Nederland, is pleased with the result. “This shows that industry-wide consultation really makes sense”. Egon Verharen, Manager Innovation at the NPO, is also enthusiastic. “The fact that we now have agreement on this standard is good for the entire sector”.
The collaboration should lead to the support of new applications in the field of programme signalling. The current participants in the working group are RTL Nederland, Talpa Network, Fox Networks Group, NPO, KPN, Liberty Global, VodafoneZiggo and TVT Media.
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.