Freeview Aus chooses MHEG-5

The International MHEG Promotion Alliance (Impala) has welcomed Freeview Australia’s decision to select MHEG-5 as the interactive TV middleware for the platform.

With new channels launching this year, the second phase of Freeview’s roll out, set for 2010, will see the deployment of an MHEG-5-based platform EPG that will provide listings information on all the service’s channels.

Both the set-top specifications and MHEG profile include support for high-definition, a key plank of Australia’s Freeview platform, and the IP-based Interaction Channel which allows two-way interactive TV services.

Giri Valliapan, Impala’s direct of market development, said: “Freeview Australia undertook a comprehensive review process before selecting MHEG-5. They wanted an open-standard middleware but also wanted maximum manufacturer support. This was forthcoming from all the major CE vendors for MHEG--strengthened by the fact that all the major CE manufacturers would be able to supply product to meet Freeview's launch dates--and means another successful adoption for MHEG-5 technology."

Freeview Australia CEO Robin Parkes said: “We looked closely at both Freeview in the UK and Freeview NZ and were impressed by the success they had achieved. With the addition of high-definition graphics and interactive channels, MHEG-5 provides the best route for enhanced services for Freeview in Australia."