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Next generation digital media

Ralf Jurrien
IFA Report
Wednesday 15th, August 2007
Posted by: Ralf Jurrien

Greater programme diversity, better image quality, more comfort - over the past ten years these have been the goals of network operators and programme services. What lies ahead of this media technology revolution? The Science and Technology Forum (TWF) will provide a wealth of answers not only of interest to trade visitors and media experts. Research facilities and project associations will be showing the future direction of the next generation of media technology. Programmes which up to now have run to fixed schedules will become interactive services, hitherto inactive viewers will become producers and creators of their own content, media services available to all will become personalised.

Digital media

TWF digital media
All of this works not just in the living room, but on the move, using an array of portable pocket-size devices. The TWF will present the broad direction that digital media will be taking by highlighting not only new forms of distribution and technical solutions, but by presenting some very practical examples of utilising media in the future. Thus, in addition to showing various types of programmes customised to viewers’ tastes, tomorrow’s television (using IPTV) will also provide personalised and specifically targeted advertising and can combine this with an electronic shopping cart that invites viewers to make purchases via remote control.

Personalise digital media
Tomorrow’s media will also enable users to personalise the news they receive. For example, subscribers will be able to compile a choice of sources which a provider will then supply automatically or as a call-up service. The novelty of this TWF highlight known as iNews is that the information layout automatically adapts to the device display, so that this medium is capable of working in all kinds of environments.

TWF digital media - Voice & Video communications
At the TWF, TV telephony will demonstrate how IPTV can combine media purchasing with voice and video communications. A window on the TV screen informs the viewer of a (video) call, who can then decide whether to accept it and interrupt a programme for the duration of the conversation with an automatic pause function. IPTV is also capable of combining separate types of broadcasting. Thus the TWF will show how programmes broadcast via terrestrial digital TV can be interactively enhanced with additional information from an internet server.

TWF project - poTiVity
Those of us who think that interactivity means no more than clicking a screen menu should take a closer look at the TWF project called poTiVity, a solution specifically developed for mobile TV, where on-screen objects can be moved to access the next interactive information level - simply nudging them is enough. Besides IPTV, user-generated content ranks among the most fascinating innovations that new media technology has to offer, the most prominent example being the successful internet portal YouTube. The TWF will present meinberlin.de to demonstrate how home media productions can be combined with editorially generated content. Using meinberlin.de, independent users can generate their own magazines for their local street, district or town.

Digital media content
Yet another TWF project focuses on distributing home-generated content in limited communities. An innovative combination of a business model and protection methods ensures that content can be passed on to other users who share a community platform. All these new opportunities for using media content will result in a leap in the number of audio/video files on hard drives or other digital storage media. To keep everything well organised, in the future intelligent archiving systems will make sure that order is maintained. The TWF will demonstrate several examples: tools for analysing and classifying content will make searching for files and subjects childsplay.

Mobile access to media and information
Finally, the TWF will introduce a whole array of spectacular innovations enabling mobile access to media and information, among them portable satellite TV sets. DVB-SH broadcasting will give one of its first public demonstrations in Europe in Hall 5.3. A Korean research institute will present a fascinating innovation based on the mobile TV standard DMB. Scientists will demonstrate 3D viewing, elaborate visual effects and online gaming solutions - all on the small screens of mobile phones and pocket computers.

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