Breakthrough for MHP standard paves way to global market for interactive TV developers

GEM provides a means of ensuring that MHP applications can be carried over networks other than DVB. Where DVB has not been adopted, and therefore where the original MHP standard cannot be implemented, application interoperability is assured by combining MHP based GEM with the appropriate specifications from another body to produce a GEM receiver.

âThe aim of GEM is to provide true âwrite once, run anywhereâ capabilities for MHP applications. DVB has been pleasantly surprised by the positive industry reception of the GEM specification,â commented Peter MacAvock, Executive Director, DVB Project Office.

The earlier adoption of DVBâs MHP by CableLabs as the core of its OCAP specification (OpenCable Application Platform) provided a common platform upon which interactive services could be deployed for the US cable industry. This led to further extensive cooperation between the two bodies and resulted in the creation of the GEM specification and the solidification of the OCAP/MHP link.

The significance of GEM is underlined by the marked interest shown from other esteemed standardisation bodies working on open API systems such as the ATSC in the US and Japanâs ARIB. Recent announcements of the harmonisation of standards between the ATSC and CableLabs are largely based on the GEM specification, thus enabling the execution of MHP applications and services in the US. Several US cable companies are already working to implement OCAP 1.0, which is based on the GEM specification. The ITU is also working on the harmonisation of API systems, again largely based on the GEM specification.
Adoption of MHPâs core across markets will promote greater economies of scale for manufacturers of set-top boxes and digital TVs. It will also provide enhanced commonality of broadcast infrastructures that will promote competition and generate cost savings. Good news for everybody!

Theo Peek, DVB Chairman remarked âThere are still many issues to resolve, but DVB is anxious to ensure that the spirit of cooperation between CableLabs and DVB can be extended to other standardisation bodies interested in adopting GEM.â