TDF, TF1, France Télévisions, Arte, and NRJ12 are currently experimenting with VOD. Aim: to offer television viewers a VOD service on their TV, dispensing with the need for an Internet connection. At the heart of this facility: QuadriCast™ technology, now proven for over 3 years on the Française des Jeux network. What's at stake: new services for everyone on DTT, and lower broadcasting costs for the channels.
Video on Demand should no longer be available only to ‘eligible' subscribers
Video on Demand has expanded with broadband Internet subscription offers. Internet service providers are selling triple-play offers (Internet / telephone / television) that include TV, VOD, and catch-up TV. But Video on Demand is only accessible to part of the population: people with broadband access – a tangible example of the ‘digital divide'.
Broadband – For the 30 OECD countries, average penetration is said to be 21.3 per 100 inhabitants (in France: 26.4). High-speed broadband – By end 2008, French telecoms regulator ARCEP counted 130,000 customers on cable (Numéricâble) and 40,000 customers on FTTH fibre-optic…
For the TV channels, offering new services accessible to everyone
With the QuadriCast™ solution from Quadrille, VOD is no longer carried over the Internet, but via the TV! It becomes accessible to all viewers, in every household equipped for DTT or satellite reception. By end 2009, 90% of the population in France already benefited from DTT coverage. Technical accessibility is no longer a brake. From their TV sets, viewers have access to a catalogue of content they can watch at once. “VOD services on television are no longer symbols of the digital divide,” explains Yann Sully, Chairman of Quadrille.
DTT unplugged – and a symbol of renewal!
TDF has just launched an experiment into push VOD. This experiment is based on a partnership with Viaccess (France Telecom group), which is supplying access control systems and digital rights management, and 27M technologies, which is supplying the set-top boxes (hard disk-based digital video-recorder). TF1, France Télévisions, Arte, and NRJ12 are all participating in the experiment.
“Like satellite, DTT needs to be in a position to offer the same extra services as the IPTV packages, and viewers ought not to be penalized by where they live,” explains Yann Sully at Quadrille. “Modes of consumption are changing, and DTT must respond to this expectation. TDF and its partners in this new experiment on the DTT network in the first quarter of 2010 are fully aware of this.”
From an engineering point of view, the TV channels can offer new services, free or paying, accessible to everyone, using their infrastructure and keeping a check on their broadcasting costs.
QuadriCast™, proven technology
The TDF experiment has made it possible to validate the solution in the DTT world. This technical solution has already been being used for more than 3 years on a nationwide scale on the private Française des Jeux network, which uses the software for automatically refreshing the multimedia content broadcast to over 20,000 sales outlets.
“We have deployed the QuadriCast™ technology on a massive scale, enabling us to update the multimedia animations, to the tune of several tens of MB, across the whole of our network in just a few hours overnight. We are significantly reducing the updating costs we would incur if we were to employ point-to-point download updating on this scale,” Française des Jeux explains.
Using this technology, the POS display has become an important communication channel for Française des Jeux
The principle is simple: the transmissions or films are broadcast by IP networks (DTT, satellite, etc.) to a dedicated section of the decoder's hard disk, during off-peak broadcasting hours and overnight. The programmes (films, synopses, or trailers) are recorded on the digital video recorder's hard disk. Using the QuadriCast™ technology, there's no longer a specific channel dedicated to VOD. Viewers can watch the content right away, if they want to; programmes are regularly renewed. Features: content is ‘pushed' and stored on the user's hard disk according to the bandwidth available. File mode. Independent of broadcast channel. Opportunistic bandwidth management and optimization. Adaptable to the transfer rate available. No need to start over for incomplete transmissions.
About Quadrille Engineering
Founded in 1998, Quadrille SAS is a Paris-based software house which is accompanying the major players in media and telecoms through its expertise in application design and development. Quadrille's product offering includes a whole range of software and high-quality services on the Broadcast and Broadband markets, and more specifically, in applications dedicated to digital TV, Video on Demand, and encryption systems.
Quadrille's expertise covers the whole value chain, from content provider to end-user consumption.
QuadriCast™ has been developed with assistance from the French OSEO organization, supporting business innovation.
To find out more: www.quadrille.fr
Contact presse :
Agence C3M – 01 47 34 01 15
Michelle Amiard, michelle@agence-C3M.com
Cathy Lacides, cathy@agence-C3M.com