Digital TV-based communication systems provide costeffective solutions and, in many cases, offer capabilities that are difficult to obtain by other technologies (Elbert, 1997). Hence, many books and papers on digital television (TV) and content distribution networks have been published in recent years (Burnett, 2004; Collins, 2001; Dreazen, 2002; ETR, 1996; Hulicki & Juszkiewicz, 1999; Mauthe & Thomas, 2004; Scalise, Gill, & Faria, 1999; Seffah & Javahery, 2004; Whitaker & Benson, 2003). None of them, however, provide an exhaustive analysis of the service provision aspects at the application layer. Therefore, this contribution aims to fill that gap with a comprehensive view on the provision of services on digital TV platform which can serve as the multimedia service delivery platform (MSDP) that can provide a unified tool for the optimized exchange of services between users, operators, and service and content providers.
Digital video broadcasting (DVB) is a technology readily adaptable to meet both expected and unexpected user demands (DVB, 1996; Raghavan & Tripathi, 1998) and one can use it for providing the bouquets of various services (Fontaine & Hulicki, 1997; Hulicki, 2001). Because it is still unclear exactly which multimedia services will be introduced, and how the advent of digital technology alters the definition of the audio-visual media and telecoms markets and affects the introduction of new services, one has to consider a number of various aspects and issues dealing with definition, creation, and delivering of digital TV services. The article does introduce common technology features of DTV and describes different perspectives on SDP as well as the business and technical influences that drive its evolution. Two most important factors that can be used to package network capabilities and services into offerings are the management and sales of services. One can also use them to track service usage, in order to identify opportunities for improvement and additional sales. Under consideration will be also a question of the possible substitutions of products and services which, previously, were not substitutable, and now result in new forms of competition.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Broadcast TV Services: Television services that provide a continuous flow of information distributed from a central source to a large number of users.
Interactive Services: Telecommunication services that provide users with the ability to control and influence the subjects of communication.
CA (Conditional Access) Services: Television services that allow only authorized users to select, receive, decrypt, and watch a particular programming package.
STB (Set Top Box): A decoder for demodulating the digital signals to be displyed on a screen of TV receiver.
Value Added Services: Telecommunication services with the routing capability and the established additional functionality.
Digital TV: Broadcasting of television signals by means of digital techniques, used for the provision of TV services.
Multimedia Communication: A new, advanced way of communication that allows any of the traditional information forms (including their integration) to be employed in the communication process.
Content Driven Services: Television services to be provided depending on the content.
Enhanced TV: A television that provides subscribers with the means for bidirectional communication with real-time end-to-end information transfer.
DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting): The European standard for the development of digital TV.