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EXPWAY launches turnkey FastESG™solution for mobile TV

26.08.2005


EXPWAY of France has designed and launched FastESG™, a unique end-to end Electronic Service Guide solution over mobile and broadcast networks (GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, DVB-H), from server to terminal. FastESG™ is an XML-based software solution, built on rich metadata language such as DVB-CBMS, which guarantees an enhanced end-user experience (particularly in the field of TV viewing and multimedia entertainment). The company will be showcasing its technology at the IFA trade show in Berlin from 2 to 7 September.



The Electronic Service Guide (ESG) is the main component of any DVB-H system as it enables efficient access to services and is the gatekeeper of a good service use. Every access to content is done through the ESG. That is why it must be simple, efficient and rich. In order to provide a solution to this critical application, EXPWAY has designed FastESG™, a unique end-to end Electronic Service Guide solution over mobile and broadcast networks (GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, DVB-H), from server to terminal.

The ESG Service is highly strategic as it is central to promoting content and services to end-users and to drive them to view, order and consume content that is relevant to them. Because many sources and many types of multimedia content will be offered on mobile devices - from live TV programmes and video-on-demand clips to ring-tones, images and games, among others - the ESG must be efficient enough so that people make use of it all the time and are attracted by the services on offer.


FastESG™ is up to standards in seamless mode

FastESG™, as developed by EXPWAY, has advanced features that make it particularly attractive. FastESG™ relies on key ESG standards (such as DVB-CBMS, DVB-IPI, and TV-Anytime). Because TV content should be addressed efficiently, FastESG™ includes specific treatment of EPG information, providing great accuracy and permanent up-to-date information.

FastESG™ can manage several different networks and a variety of devices in a seamless manner. It supports several distribution models such as pull-only through GPRS/EDGE or UMTS (unicast), push-only through DVB-H/DMB (multicast) modes, and hybrid mode.

FastESG™ is built using standard Java and database technology on the server side allowing easy and fast deployment. Pure ANSI C and Java J2ME are used on the client side allowing great efficiency and portability. Several wrappers are provided to be integrated into different browser or player environments, such as HTML browser or SVG player.

FastESG™ carries a range of benefits to all users

The Electronic Service Guide is the framework that will guide the end-user through the service offer. As such, it offers enhanced efficiency. FastESG™ is based on the most efficient technologies, such as compression and transport, to allow a minimum number of bursts to be used for downloading ESG information.

FastESG™ provides a complete framework, including the provision of metadata through several partnerships, the aggregation and publication of service descriptions over different channels, and all the necessary modules on the client to organize, filter and present the service offer to the end-user.

FastESG™ is an attractive solution that allows operators and service providers to construct their ESG over a large range of descriptive fields for describing TV, ring-tones, pictures or java games. This rich set of information allows service providers to implement several usage models to better promote and access their services (by service genre, by service name, through a keyword search, including for services, programmes or bundles of services, programme trailers or promotional links).

FastESG™ provides an advanced set of descriptive fields for TV programmes making it possible to handle TV specificities such as programme rescheduling, delays, TV/movie/series genres, keywords, cast lists, chapter-based summaries and now/next programme support.

FastESG™ provides unique conformance to key mobile and TV standards such as W3C, DVB and MPEG. This avoids the drawback, for the user, of being locked within a costly and stagnant proprietary solution. The technologies implemented in FastESG™ have been developed by the key players in the DVB-H domain, including the largest manufacturers, broadcasters and telecoms operators.

FastESG™ gives unparalleled flexibility, by allowing all actors along the delivery chain, starting from the content owner to the manufacturer, to efficiently construct a business model around the content and services delivery. For instance, by using FastESG™, a telecoms operator can provide unique services to its customer and differentiate them from its competitors’. A content owner can promote its content by providing a rich set of descriptive information, which ensures that the content is well represented.

FastESG™ offers convergent services: it supports a variety of formats allowing service providers to accept several data streams coming from several data vendors. Notably, major metadata providers are supported as options thanks to FastESG™ Metadata Importer. FastESG™ is compatible with the DVB-IPI standard for the transmission of EPG in a broadband environment. Thanks to that feature, a telecoms operator can bridge its mobile and DSL services.

Real-time updates are another important feature of FastESG™, as it allows an easy interface with existing digital television streams thanks to its Metadata Converter (from SI to XML). Any change in the broadcasted metadata is automatically and immediately available for the end-user in the ESG. Metadata Author allows service providers to update all the information in real time; the updates are transmitted in a few seconds to the user’s mobile phone.

FastESG™ offers tailored solutions to professional users

FastESG™ is available in a range of formats. FastESG™ for Service Providers allows service providers to easily construct their service offer, deliver their services and service guides over different complementary channels, and verify the business impact of their services.

FastESG™ for Telecom Operators allows telecommunications operators to monitor DVB-H streams and generates hooks to the ESG to be provided to its customer. Thanks to FastESG™, a telecoms operator can synchronize its service with the DVB-H stream.

FastESG™ for Broadcasters allows broadcasters to generate ESG streams while minimizing their transmission costs and maximizing their quality of service.

FastESG™ for Manufacturers provides a unique client-side solution which provides high performance for minimal resource consumption. FastESG™ saves memory, CPU and battery life.

With FastESG™, service providers supply source-metadata to the platform operator and assign service identifiers; service providers supply telecoms operators complementary metadata and contents for added value; broadcast operators provide synchronisation information to telecoms operators so that they can build synchronized services for their customers; telecoms operators can provide their own additional metadata and service. More scenarios can be implemented depending on the business relationships between the players involved.

FastESG™ translates into a richer experience for end-users

Added value services are a feature of the platform developed by EXPWAY. If a user is watching a TV programme on a DVB-H device, a specific message can pop up to signal that a service related to this programme is available. The associated service is downloaded after a simple click. Thanks to this new service, the user can download images and ring-tones at a cost of a few euro cents. Another message pops up informing the user that his (or her) favourite music TV show is about to start on such and such a channel. The user can zap to the channel in question thanks to another click. In this show, all the video-clips are ranked by a voting service. If, say, the user is particularly keen to see the latest Madonna video-clip, he (or she) is able to ask the ESG to send a voting SMS to him (or her) in order to flag the moment that the video-clip will be broadcast in real time.

Convergent electronic TV programme guides are also available thanks to EXPWAY’s FastESG™ platform, in the form of a specific television programme guide describing the programmes and channels available on the DVB-H network as well as on the broadband line. Trailers can be viewed on the user’s DVB-H device, while detailed descriptions of given programmes (such as a synopsis, a chapter description or key pictures) are provided. The user can request the ESG to send an email to the PVR-enabled DSL set-top-box, so that it may be instructed to record the show.

Further details of the underlying technologies will be provided by FTPB on request to all interested parties, including members of the specialist trade press. (See contact details at the bottom of this press release.)

About EXPWAY

EXPWAY is headquartered in Paris (France). The company will be showcasing its technology at the IFA consumer-electronics trade show on DibCom (Hall #2.1 - Booth #212) from 2 to 7 September 2005 in Berlin (Germany) and the IBC audio-visual technologies trade fair (Booth #151, Mobile Zone) from 9 to 13 September 2005 in Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

EXPWAY is a leading provider of intermediation software solutions between content providers and consumers. EXPWAY provides Electronic Content Guide and Multimedia Search Engines targeting high-value content discovery systems and solutions dedicated to broadcast and mobile networks. It draws its expertise on its proven and world-class patented binary XML technology, BinXML™, already adopted as the binary XML transport format by MPEG-7, TV-Anytime and DVB standards. EXPWAY’s solutions are suitable for constrained environments and devices such as mobile phones and digital TV set-top-boxes. EXPWAY was created in 2000.

Kate AMBLER | FTPB - Press Bureau
Further information:
http://www.infotechfrance.com/london
http://www.expway.com

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