TV Anytime Forum Established

New multimedia services based on high volume digital storage device

The development of completely new multimedia services using digital broadcast receivers with built-in storage devices has come to the world's notice; they will enable functions which will allow interactive viewing of programs that viewers wish to watch at anytime.
This was the background to the TV Anytime Forum. It was launched with the goal of creating a new type of multimedia service that makes the best use of two mediums: the real-time services of broadcasting and the highly flexible services of the Internet, along with the use of a high volume digital storage device.
NHK participated in the activities of the TV Anytime Forum.

Before the TV Anytime Forum, there was DAVIC (Digital Audio-Visual Council), which was started in 1994 as a private, nonprofit organization for the standardization of multimedia applications, services, and systems.
By 1997, DAVIC advanced the standardization of set top boxes, video servers, and transmission processes for VOD (Video on Demand) services. These standards were approved as DAVIC 1.0-1.4 specifications. The standardization of new multimedia services using a storage device and TV Anytime/Anywhere has been promoted since last year, completing the DAVIC 1.5 specifications regarding broadcasting services.

While DAVIC completed its scheduled 5 year operation period in September 1999, the TV Anytime Forum was established as its successor to continue carrying out activity related to the development of TV Anytime/Anywhere. The TV Anytime Forum is scheduled to provide standardization guidelines aimed towards services which are not bound to specific specifications, such as storage device types and broadcast/internet data transmission methods, as shown in the figure below.
The TV Anytime Forum comprises 54 member organizations from Europe, the USA and Asia.
The Forum is now working to develop open specifications designed to allow Consumer Electronics Manufacturers, Broadcasters, Service Providers etc. to exploit high volume digital storage devices.

We at NHK have been promoting the development of ISDB as the 21st century broadcasting system for the digital era. We are also advancing research and development on a home server and a new home digital recording system with which one can watch any program at anytime. NHK contributed to DAVIC, especially, by means of technical proposals regarding home servers and program indexing. We are determined to give our continuous and active assistance to the TV Anytime Forum.