Founder, Editor, Interactive Television Evangelist at informitv
02 August 2004 16:57pm
The European Commission has reiterated its support for open and interoperable standards for interactive television, but says implementation should not be made legally binding.
“There is no clear case for imposing technical standards at present, but the issue should be reviewed again in 2005,” the Commission said in a statement.
Member States should continue to promote open and interoperable standards for interactive digital TV, including the Multimedia Home Platform or MHP standard, on a voluntary basis, says the European Commission in a new communication on the interoperability of interactive digital TV.
The Commission states there is no clear case for imposing technical standards at present, but the issue should be reviewed again in 2005.
Proposals made by the Commission include setting up a Member State group on MHP implementation, confirming that Member States can offer consumer subsidies for interactive TV receivers - subject to state aid rules - and monitoring access to proprietary digital interactive TV applications.
“In view of the complexity of the technological and market environment, the very different perceptions of interoperability held by market players, and the fact that interactive digital TV has not yet taken off on a larger scale in many Member States, we felt that the digital television market should continue to develop unhindered for the present” commented Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Olli Rehn. “We will however revisit the issue at the end of 2005 in order to see to what extent market developments have contributed to interoperability and freedom of choice for users.”
The Commission notes that there are over 32 million digital receivers in use in Europe, of which at least 25 million have interactive capability. The market for interactive TV television developed without a European API standard. Initially there were five significant APIs in Europe; content or applications authored for one API could not be used by a receiver containing a different API. Currently MHP is the only open standard for APIs adopted by EU standards bodies.
For more information see informitv.comhttp://informitv.com/articles/2004/08/02/eubacksvoluntary/
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