The Digital TV Group has today published the latest technical specification enhancements for Freeview and Freeview HD set top boxes and connected TVs under its D-Book technical standard.
New features include enhanced electronic programme guides (EPG) bringing the ability to scroll backwards seven days to access catch-up TV, in the same way people browse forwards to see what programmes are on in the coming days.
EPGs will also be able to feature links allowing the viewer to directly visit a show's web page, or view a trailer for a new programme.
'Remote Booking' is now officially included in the D-Book, involving users setting recordings or reminders on their set top box or TV via a website or mobile app. Sky and Virgin Media already offer 'Remote Record' functionality on their satellite and cable TV platforms respectively.
Other features include Broadcast Record List enhancements and clearer reference to the latest European ETSI standard for MHEG interactive applications specification to drive international harmonisation.
The enhancements build on the current edition of the D-Book, the D-Book 7, which was published in 2011 and introduced new industry-agreed technical specifications on Freeview connected products.
Richard Lindsay-Davies, the DTG Director General, said: "The Digital TV Group has balanced UK business requirements and high consumer expectations with the increasing demands of globalisation and business complexity to deliver another world-leading digital television standard for Freeview."
Much of the functionality covered in the latest D-Book technical standards is expected to be included in YouView, the IPTV joint venture backed by the BBC, BT, ITV and Channel 4.
The delayed YouView project aims to produce Freeview set top box products that are connected to the internet and can support video on-demand and internet services, such as YouTube and Facebook, as well as the standard and high definition Freeview TV channels.
YouView, previously Project Canvas, is expected to launch this summer, potentially as early as next month.
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> Freeview EPGs to get new advanced functionality
Meanwhile, the organisation that manages the UK digital terrestrial TV platform, commercially branded as Freeview, has proposed major changes to how channels are numbered on the platform to make space for new services and IPTV.
DMOL, formed by the holders of the six digital terrestrial multiplex licences, has put forward plans to extend the general entertainment section in Freeview EPGs.
The proposals would see channels 1-99 being reserved for national and local channels, delivering a range of programming, reports Register Hardware.
Freeview's HD channels would gain their own area from 101 to 109, while the kids' networks would move to 110-119 and news channels run from 120 to 139.
The adult stations would sit between 300-349, radio stations from 700 upwards and then channels 400 to 499 are to be reserved for IP-delivered services.
DMOL is running a consultation on the plans until May 24, 2012.
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