07.26 Europe/London, September 12, 2011 By Julian Clover

IBC 2011 – AMSTERDAM. It has long been a product of science fiction, but a development team from NDS has taken the traditional television picture and broken it out across a living room wall.

In a behind the scenes demonstration shown to Broadband TV News, six 55-inch screens with bezel edges were laid out as if in the consumers living room.

Controlled by an iPad or other companion device, Surfaces breaks out the various components so that while the main screen remains unencumbered by overlays, additional information such as travel news, weather or the voting in a talent contest can be displayed in separate areas adjacent to the screen.

The size of the main image can be increased or decreased, according to the circumstances, and type of programme.

“Each type of video content has an appropriate size, when you’re watching the breakfast news you don’t want it large, but if it is a football match you might,” said Simon Parnall, director of advanced technologies, NDS.

Nigel Smith, VP and CMO Nigel Smith said any future change would be on the screen. “We’re waiting for the consumer electronics manufacturers to build the displays. When that happens the operators will be ready for it”.

The system is driven by the NDS Service Delivery Platform using metadata taken from the existing headend. The metadata effectively spots what is running on the screen, then pulls up information that is relevant for display.