Open House

Television with a strong sensation of reality
Convergence of broadcasting and telecommunications


Technologies for the convergence of broadcasting and telecommunications
2.1.1 Hybridcast
2.1.2 Social Networking Services and Consumer Generated Media
2.1.3 Security platform
2.1.4 IP content delivery technology

User-friendly information presentation
Advanced content production technology
Devices andmaterials for broadcasting



 Hybridcast is a system that will provide services to meet the needs of a new era through the convergence of broadcasting and broadband networks. Our efforts to date have involved a full range of research, standardization, and development of applications for this new system.

Hybridcast platform

 We continue research on Hybridcast which enables the provision of flexible and extensible new services that take advantage of the characteristics of broadcasting and telecommunications. NHK's three-year administrative plan, which started in FY2012, prioritises development of new services suited to the era of integrated broadcasting and telecommunications. In FY2012, we focused on developing prototype receivers for Hybridcast, standardizing the specifications, and practical measures toward a launch of services in 2013.
 We cooperated with five receiver manufacturers in the development of prototype receivers based on currently available televisions that are on the market(Figure 1), incorporating an HTML 5 browser. We also showed a variety of Hybridcast app examples at the NHK STRL Open House. In particular, we exhibited a service linking a TV with a tablet, a service that displays graphic data retrieved over the broadband network with a sports program, and a dynamic service linked to the progression of a program. We also exhibited display control technology to ensure that viewers see important information such as emergency broadcast. In these ways, we promoted Hybridcast and showed that it is ready for practical implementation. We also showed the appeal of Hybridcast by demonstrating synchronized services such as multi-view service and sign-language Computer Graphics(CG)composition(Figure 2)using prototype set-top-boxes, user-preference-based personalized TV spot auto replacing services, authentication federation between TV and mobile terminals, and service examples from commercial broadcasters.

Figure 1. Hybridcast prototype receivers
Figure 2. Sign-language CG service

 In our domestic standardization activities, we worked with the IPTV Forum on the first editions of a system specification and an HTML 5 browser specification, and we made revisions to related specifications at the Association of Radio Industries and Businesses(ARIB). We also took the lead in drawing up operational specifications with the Association for Promotion of Digital Broadcasting(Dpa). On the international front, we promoted the advantages of Hybridcast services and functionalities for smart TV and contributed reports to various standards organizations. In particular, we contributed to technical report and called for Hybridcast functionalities to be reflected in draft requirements recommendations at ITU-R, submitted use-case documents for services that take advantage of broadcasting and telecommunications to the Future of Broadcasting Television Initiative(FoBTV), and presented the idea of Hybridcast and use-cases to the Technical Plenary/Advisory Committee meeting(TPAC)of the W3C, which regulates HTML 5 standardization.
 We are also working with the NHK departments that will deploy Hybridcast in a project that promotes public awareness of the system. We helped them to study the services that can be provided, and complete facilities and operations for the launch of services in 2013.
 We also held exhibitions and demonstrations at the NHK STRL Open House and other events such as the London Olympics, Broadcast Asia 2012, and events celebrating the 60th anniversary of television in Japan to promote Hybridcast. During the London Olympics, we conducted a field trial of Hybrid services covering popular competitions such as swimming and judo. These demonstrations involved the whole process flow, from the creation of content using application authoring tools(SDK: Software Development Kit)to distribution through a commercial cloud server, and reception at Akihabara as a Super Hi-Vision(SHV)public viewing venue for the games(Figure 3).
 In other work, we invited members of the public from the Tohoku region to evaluate a Hybridcast service delivering emergency information about a fictional large-scale disaster in the city of Sendai. Participants evaluated the system as effective. This research was commissioned by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan, as part of the “Research and development for disaster-proof strengthening of an information and communications network” We will incorporate the results of this study in practical Hybridcast services.
 We will also continue to improve and standardize Hybridcast, and moreover, develop services that take advantage of the fusing of broadcasting with telecommunications in the age of SHV.

Figure 3. Hybridcast service at the London Olympics(Applet to cheer Japanese athletes)

Security for receivers combining broadcasting and telecommunications

 We are researching and developing security technology to enable safe and secure use of applications provided through Hybridcast. In FY2012, we implemented a display control scheme that gives priority to displaying important broadcast content, and an authentication scheme that ensures applications are legitimate in a prototype Hybridcast receiver build by commercial TV manufacturers(Figure 4).
 Display control technology ensures that reliable information is presented so that viewers can enjoy programming with safety and security. It gives priority to displaying important broadcast content such as Earthquake Early Warnings even when an app is being used. We implemented it in a prototype receiver based on a commercially available TV.
 We also expect that Hybridcast will distribute HTML 5 apps over the broadband network. For this reason, Hybridcast needs a mechanism to ensure that apps cannot run if they risk compromising the viewer’s interests. We implemented an app authentication scheme to control the scope of an app’s operation in receivers. The scheme discriminates whether an app is authorized to launch or use receiver resources by attaching an ID and signature to it. We also evaluated the execution time of the scheme. The results showed that apps up to 10 megabytes can be authenticated in a practical amount of processing time(2).
 We also designed a receiver authentication platform and a comprehensive app security management verification system, covering total processing from registration to controlling the execution of apps on the receiver.

Figure 4. Implementation of a display control scheme and an authentication scheme
in a prototype Hybridcast receiver

Media transport scheme for heterogeneous networks

 We are researching media transport technologies for next-generation broadcasting systems using broadcast and / or broadband media, so that users can enjoy content without awareness of the type of delivery medium and to build a system that can handle the growing diversity of content, viewing terminals, and transmission paths. The results of this research have contributed to the standardization process for MPEG Media Transport(MMT), which is a new multimedia transport technology at MPEG, and part of it was incorporated in the ISO/IEC 2nd Committee Draft(CD)23008-1.
 MMT harmonizes the media transport schemes on broadcasting systems with broadband networks, and allows various services to be deployed by using one-to-many broadcasting and one-to-one broadband networks together.
 Large and high-resolution monitors for Super Hi-Vision will be suited to displaying video and information. Using MMT, high-definition video obtained from broadcasting can be easily presented with video, sound or other data from broadband networks in synchronized manner.
 Quality of transmission path may be affected by a number of conditions including weather and network congestion. With MMT, it is easy to use a combination of different transmission paths. Service availability can be increased by diversifying transmission paths and substituting lower-bandwidth video and audio for high quality counterparts if the case need be.
 We have designed control signals describing relation and location of each media and developed control methods to provide such content services(3).
 This sort of distribution is complex and difficult to implement using conventional media transport schemes such as MPEG-2TS or RTP; MMT is suitable for new services that integrate broadcasting and telecommunications.

(1)IPTVFJ STD-0010 Integrated broadcast-broadband system specification/ IPTVFJ STD-0011 HTML5 Browser Specification, IPTV Forum Japan
(2)Y. Hironaka, G. Ohtake, H. Ohmata, K. Otsuki, Y. Endo and K. Majima:“Implementation evaluation of application authentication scheme for Hybridcast receiver”, ITE Annual Conference, 16-4(2012)(in Japanese)
(3)K. Otsuki, S. Aoki, S. Mitsuya, K. Aoki, and H. Hamada: “A Study of Control Information in IP-based Transport Scheme for Hybrid Delivery using Broadcasting and Communications,” ITE Journal, Vol.36, No.42, BCT2012-85, pp.1-4(2012)(in Japanese)