Future of DTV on display at CeBIT 2001
3/21/01

Hannover, Germany - Consumer electronics, telecommunications and IT companies will join key players in European broadcasting at CeBIT 2001 to pledge their commitment to the Multimedia Home Platform - MHP - the digital standard for free TV, pay TV, multimedia programming and interactive services.

A consortium comprising Astra, Convergence, Deutsche Telekom, Nokia, Open TV, Panasonic, Philips, Sony, Sun Microsystems, TechniData, the German broadcaster ZDF, Germany's Institut fur Rundfunktechnik (IRT) and the Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) organization will use CeBIT to confirm their agreement to provide MHP services, applications and products during the course of 2001.

Prof. Ziemer of broadcaster ZDF added: "We made a statement at IBC 2000 that this would be the year that the hardware and content industry would make MHP a reality. I am delighted to say that determination and promise remains and are being demonstrated by this joint commitment at CeBIT 2001. At the IFA this August in Berlin, we will be able to show our first MHP based services for full public demonstration."

MHP based products can be expected in the later half of 2001 both in the form of set-top boxes (STB) and integrated digital TV (iDTV) sets. Depending on the level of features, consumers can expect to pay between euros 250 to euros 400 either for a MHP based set-top box or as the premium for a MHP based digital television.

MHP is an open public standard enabling the development of digital television and interactive services by facilitating convergence between broadcasting, telecommunication and computing technologies.

MHP also provides an effective bridge between broadcast and Internet distribution, offering a common application programming interface open to anyone to develop and apply. As a result, MHP will allow digital broadcasting to develop based on compelling content-rich services rather than competing technology standards.

MHP represents a move away from today's closed proprietary middleware platforms to an open horizontal marketplace, offering important benefits to all parties. Ultimately the benefits will be seen by the consumer who, using a single MHP set-top-box or integrated digital TV set, will be able to receive a wide range of enhanced broadcasting and interactive applications e.g. to participate in their favourite games show; get additional information about a programme (film details, actors), a product or service (interactive advertising); home banking; e-mail ; internet; electronic TV guide with reminders or even trigger VCR to record -- the possibilities are endless.

The MHP standard was released in February 2000 and has been created by the DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting) consortium and published by ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute). It is being supported by more than 300 member organisations from 37 countries world wide. Members include research institutes, regulatory bodies and commercial organisations working in the areas of broadcasting, telecommunications, IT and consumer equipment manufacturing.





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