BBC Research & Innovation, as part of the AX4HOME project, explored how traditional broadcasting and the AXMEDIS content publishing, distribution and protection platform could come together for the home user (viewer), in particular how this could bring added value to the user whilst respecting rights-holders.
The demonstrator illustrates a complete chain:
- recordings of free-to-air broadcasts can be booked
- the recordings are personalised and enhanced with supplementary AXMEDIS content - such as recommendations, trailers and web-links
- content protection is applied, giving the user the right to play the content on any device within their 'home domain' but not further afield.
To view a short video about the demonstrator, please click here.
Technical note 6301: "BBC DVB-T Solution for PC " (here)
Advantages for the Viewer and the Broadcaster
The home user benefits from a viewing experience with enhancements over the normal broadcast version of the program. The program also has useful metadata attached - such as description of an episode - and provides easy links for the viewer to follow to reach related websites and content. (find out more)
For the broadcaster, this kind of approach provides the opportunity to promote related content to the viewer and a mechanism for the viewer to record, time-shift and share broadcast programs whilst respecting any rights associated with that content. (find out more)
The overall Scenario
With the AX4HOME client software DVB-T content is being captured and converted to an AXMEDIS object. This object can be enhanced from the simple content delivered over air using internet metadata services. The AX4HOME system uses the domain management functionalities provided by the AXMEDIS Framework (AXFW) to register users and devices to form a home domain, and domain licenses are introduced based on the native AXMEDIS license.
The User Experience
This system is a closed test environment, not available to general users. Screenshots will give you an idea of the user experience.
When a viewer wishes to record a program, they can browse the broadcast schedules using a web based Electronic Program Guide (EPG) to select programs to be recorded.
See larger image
This would typically be served by the broadcaster or a third party. The schedule provides a modified Content-Reference-ID (CRID) that ties the schedule to identifiers in the broadcast stream. The Electronic Program Guide (EPG) and CRIDs are based on a source of TV-Anytime metadata.
To select a program for recording, the user simply clicks on it. The AX4HOME client software, running on the user's PC logs the booking and, using an attached DVB-T capture device records the program when it is broadcasted.
See larger image
The AX4HOME client software provides a simple interface to manage what programmes are scheduled to be recorded.
Once a recording is complete, there is a short delay, then the programme is presented to the user as read to watch. AXMEDIS rule scripting is used to protect and enhance the broadcast content. Enhancements are fetched from the AXMEDIS peer to peer network and can include:
- trailers or 'record this' buttons for related programmes that may interest the viewer
- links to a programme or broadcaster website
- metadata relating to the programme, such as an extended description (sourced from a TV-Anytime data web API)
These are brought together in a single AXMEDIS object, unified with SMIL into a single presentation for the viewer to watch:
The protection applied will enable the user to transfer the content to any other devices registered in their same 'home domain' but not further afield.
Opportunities for the broadcaster
- Efficient distribution
- Personalisation and promotion
- Rights protection
By combining content delivered by traditional digital broadcasting with supplementary content delivered via the internet, this presents the broadcaster with an opportunity to personalise or customise content for the individual user whilst ensuring that the bulk of content delivery is still cost effective, efficient and of high quality
When the AX4HOME client software assembles a recording into an AXMEDIS object, it combines the recording with supplementary video and textual enhancements that has been fetched from the AXMEDIS peer to peer network. The client queries a server belonging to the broadcaster to determine what enhancements are appropriate for the particular recording, and possibly for the particular user. The broadcaster can therefore take the opporunity to target the user with further content that will specifically appeal to them.
AXMEDIS' rights management capabilities are used to protect both the peer to peer distributed enhancements and the final recordings produced by the client software. This therefore can assure rights holders that content will only be used and distributed in accordance with the licences they wish to grant. Example of mp21 object produced by the demonstrator