Digital TV manufacturers have been handed the keys to the next generation of broadband connected Freeview HD boxes.
The new specifications will enable Freeview receivers offering a TiVo-style ‘backwards’ programme guide and remote recording set-up from the web like Sky+.
The enhanced programme guide will also let viewers link to a programme’s web page or view a trailer for the programme via a broadband connection to their Freeview box.
It’s all part of the latest edition of D-Book 7, which sets the standards for Freeview equipment and is maintained by the Digital TV Group, a non-profit organisation which unites broadcasters, TV and receiver manufacturers, and other parts of the TV industry.
The D-Book is updated annually to keep pace with technology – future developments will include 3D, home networking with other devices, and improved compression and transmission technology.
DTG director general, Richard Lindsay-Davies, said: “The Digital TV Group has balanced UK business requirements and high consumer expectations with the increasing demands of globalisation and business complexity to deliver another world leading digital television standard for Freeview.”
The DTG has now published the new D-Book to an industry which expects more than half of British homes to own a ‘smart’ TV or set-top box by 2015.
It normally takes at least six months for manufacturers to deliver products based on a new D-Book, but many of these upgrades could be delivered via software updates to existing products.
The DTG is also working on a 3D-Book to set standards for 3D Freeview services, which will be published this autumn, and the U-Book, which sets standards for accessibility features for the deaf, blind and disabled.
There are also working groups considering how new broadcast technology such as MIMO (multiple in, multiple out) and video compression standards like MPEG-H could deliver more channels or higher quality over both Freeview and broadband connections.