Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL), MStar Semiconductor, Aston and Quadrille Ingénierie announce they have combined their skills to implement and validate Push Video-On-Demand (VOD) services using the HbbTV v2.0 standard. The four companies will partner on showing the performance of an end-to-end HbbTV-based Push VOD system at IBC 2014.

Push VOD in a few words

Push VOD is a technology used to deliver Video-on-Demand services by broadcasting content to consumer devices. A push VOD system uses local storage (generally the Set Top Box) to host a range of content. It enables users to enjoy the benefits of interactivity by selecting and watching downloaded content as and when they want, immediately with no buffering. The content is usually deleted after a predefined period to create space for fresh content updates. The newest generation of Set Top Boxes includes storage of up to two terabytes, equivalent to over 500 hours of HD content.

Push VOD is already a preferred route for TV platforms to delivering true VOD services when users lack a high quality Internet connection. It also optimises videostreaming infrastructure by enabling broadcasters to deliver content to Set Top Boxes in a single push, satellite being one of the most efficient delivery technologies.

Push VOD and the HbbTV standard
Push VOD functionalities have now been added to the latest version of the HbbTV standard, which will be published later this year and is expected to be standardised by ETSI (the European Telecommunications Standards Institute) early 2015.
By integrating Push VOD into the HbbTV standard, the scene is set for faster and easier adoption of interactive services and smarter use of bandwidth that is increasingly absorbed by individual transmissions of video content. With this standard integrated into Set Top Boxes, a broader pathway is open for broadcasters to diversify their relationship with viewers, by for example monetising non-linear content and maximising the value of their catalogues.

Eutelsat and industry partners combining skills
Eutelsat, MStar Semiconductor, Aston and Quadrille Ingénierie have developed an end to end Push VOD system comprising:

  • The back-end system able to prepare the content, present a catalogue of videos to end-user devices and transmit it over satellite in compliance with the transport protocol defined by HbbTV
  • The first satellite Set Top Boxes integrating this new standard and able to receive and display HbbTV-based Push VOD services
  • HbbTV applications leveraging these new Push VOD features

The technology has been integrated as a demonstrator into the HbbTV FRANSAT Connect Portal provided by the FRANSAT TV platform and is currently being tested by Arte and NRJ12. The system demonstrated at IBC protects the content with Marlin DRM from Intertrust to enable different models of monetisation, and is also compatible with other DRM solutions.