MHP Application Synchronisation in Spain

The latest issue of DVB-SCENE magazine, available for download from the DVB website, includes a short article on an interesting new MHP application on trial in Spain:

Synchronised Interactivity

The Spanish public broadcaster TVE is currently testing a new interactive MHP application on its DTT platform. Developed by Activa Multimèdia, iTV Sincro enables the linking of an interactive service to a specific segment in a television programme.

The tests began in May 2008 with the long running and popular quiz show Saber y Ganar in which contestants compete to answer culture related questions. With iTV Sincro viewers at home can also take part in real time through their remote control. At a specific time in the programme when the presenter asks a question the application is activated enabling viewers to answer at the same time as the contestant. This is the most innovative aspect of the system as it allows for exact synchronisation with programming.

In fact, the application enables three levels of synchronisation: within the continuity of the channel; through time bands; and through the manual intervention of an operator, and in all cases with to-the-second precision, and relating to the content of the programming.

iTV Sincro makes it possible for interactive TV applications to become dynamic, fully interactive and linked to content. The application could even act as a stimulus for further development of interactivity in DTT. Moreover, this generation of synchronised interactive services enables a more efficient management of the bandwidth available for interactive services, thereby offering viewers a complete range of services
which otherwise could not be offered.

In addition to Activa Multimèdia and TVE, Abertis and Televisió de Catalunya are also taking part in the tests of iTV Sincro with the Saber y Ganar programme. Abertis runs the telecommunication infrastructure for broadcasting the application and Televisió de Catalunya, the public Catalan roadcaster, contributed to the development of iTV Sincro by sharing with Activa Multimedia its huge experience in DTT interactivity.

Activa Multimèdia is a research and development company specialising in interactive TV. The company pioneered the first interactive DTT applications that were broadcast on Televisió de Catalunya in 2002. Since then, the company has become the one of the leading centres in Europe for the development of MHP applications.