Televison Applications
Multimedia Home Platform (MHP), OCAP, Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB), MPEG standards

MHP service was also offered in Finland by Finnish Broadcating Corporation (Yleisradio), but the service was shut down at the end of 2007 after technical failure. The shutdown wasn't ever officially announced. Ultimately the reason for the shutdown was that MHP never gained "critical mass". The main reasons for its lack of success in Finland were: 1) 50% of the Finnish households use the terrestrial network, where broadcasting of MHP applications can be really expensive, 2) TV broadcasters never told TV viewers about the MHP services—because the digitalization of the TV networks got extremely negative publicity in Finnish media, the broadcasters didn't want to upset their customers further if they had bought new expensive STBs which weren't capable of playing MHP apps, and 3) there were only a few MHP set-top boxes in the market—because Finland is such a small market, big manufacturers weren't interested in developing new MHP boxes just for Finland. MHP-capable STBs are no longer available in Finland.

Multimedia Home Platform (DVB-MHP) is an open middleware system standard designed by the DVB project for interactive digital television. The MHP enables the reception and execution of interactive, Java-based applications on a TV-set. Interactive TV applications can be delivered over the broadcast channel, together with audio and video streams. These applications can be for example information services, games, interactive voting, e-mail, SMS or shopping. MHP applications can use an additional return channel that has to support IP.

The MHP specifies an extensive application execution environment for digital interactive TV, independent of the underlying, vendor-specific, hardware and software. This execution environment is based on the use of a Java virtual machine and the definition of generic APIs that provide access to the interactive digital TV terminal's typical resources and facilities. The interoperable MHP applications are running on top of these APIs. A so-called Navigator-application, which is part of the terminal software, allows the user the access to all MHP applications and other DVB services (like TV and radio). Sometimes Navigator can be also a Java program itself but that is not a requirement.

The MHP is just a part of a family of specifications, which all base on the Globally Executable MHP (GEM)-Standard, which was defined to allow the worldwide adoption of MHP.

Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) is a suite of internationally accepted open standards for digital television. DVB standards are maintained by the DVB Project, an international industry consortium with more than 270 members, and they are published by a Joint Technical Committee (JTC) of European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The interaction of the DVB sub-standards is described in the DVB Cookbook.[1] Many aspects of DVB are patented, including elements of the MPEG video coding and audio coding.

Digital Video Recorders (DVR), Electronic Program Guide (EPG), E-mail clients, News/Stock Tickers

A digital video recorder (DVR), sometimes referred to by the merchandising term personal video recorder (PVR), is a consumer electronics device or application software that records video in a digital format to a disk drive, USB flash drive, SD memory card or other local or networked mass storage device. The term includes set-top boxes (STB) with direct to disk recording facility, portable media players (PMP) with recording, recorders (PMR) as camcorders that record onto Secure Digital memory cards and software for personal computers which enables video capture and playback to and from a hard disk drive. A television set with built-in digital video-recording facilities was introduced by LG in 2007, followed by other manufacturers.

DVR adoption has rapidly accelerated in recent years: in January 2006, ACNielsen recorded 1.2% of U.S. households having a DVR but by February 2011, this number had grown to 42.2% of viewers in the United States.

Electronic program guides (EPG) and interactive program guides provide users of television, radio, and other media applications with continuously updated menus displaying broadcast programming or scheduling information for current and upcoming programming. Some guides such as ITV also feature backward scrolling to promote their catch up content.

Non-interactive electronic program guides (sometimes known as "navigation software") are typically available for television and radio, and consist of a digitally displayed, non-interactive menu of Broadcast programming scheduling information shown by a cable or satellite TV provider to its viewers on a dedicated channel. EPGs are broadcast by specialized video character generation (CG) equipment housed within each such provider's central television distribution facility. By tuning into an EPG channel, a menu is displayed that lists current and upcoming television programs on all available channels.

A more modern form of the EPG, associated with both television and radio broadcasting, is the interactive [electronic] program guide (IPG, though often referred to as EPG). An IPG allows television viewers and radio listeners to navigate scheduling information menus interactively, selecting and discovering programming by time, title, station, or genre using an input device such as a keypad, computer keyboard, or TV remote control. Its interactive menus are generated entirely within local receiving or display equipment using raw scheduling data sent by individual broadcast stations or centralized scheduling information providers. A typical IPG provides information covering the next 7 or 14 days.

Data to populate an interactive EPG may be distributed over the Internet, either for a charge or free of charge, and implemented on equipment connected directly or through a computer to the Internet.

Television-based IPGs in conjunction with Programme Delivery Control (PDC) technology can also facilitate the selection of programs for recording with digital video recorders (DVRs), also known as personal video recorders (PVRs).