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					FEATURE                 Spark Receiver Software




The
Wonderful
World of
Spark
Part 3:
Spark Apps
•	Direct	access	to	additional	media	services
•	Own	Wikipedia	App
•	Integrated	Twitter	service
•	Interesting	highlight:	direct	access	to	delivery	services
•	Complete	Internet	access	via	a	browser


74 TELE-satellite International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine — 06-07-08/2012 — www.TELE-satellite.com   www.TELE-satellite.com — 06-07-08/2012 — TELE-satellite International — 全球发行量最大的数字电视杂志   75
FEATURE                 Spark Receiver Software



Apps That Expand
                                                                                                                           exactly where Fulan stepped
                                                                                                                           in and created a solution to
                                                                                                                           this problem with their Spark



the Functionality
                                                                                                                           software – the Spark App
                                                                                                                           Store.

                                                                                                                              By clicking just one button


of Spark                                                                                                                   on the remote control, the
                                                                                                                           owner of a receiver outfitted
                                                                                                                           with Fulan’s Spark software


Equipped Receivers
                                                                                                                           can open the Spark Portal.
                                                                                                                           Once inside the portal, all of
                                                                                                                           the downloaded and installed
                                                                                                                           apps are displayed as well as
Thomas Haring                                                                                                              a button to access the Spark
                                                                                                                           App Store plus a dedicated
                                                                                                                           menu for various basic set-
                                                                                                                           tings. This allows the user to
                                                                                                                           filter the displayed Apps to
1                                                                                          The idea of including an        specific languages (currently
                                                                                        App interface in a digital         English, German, Hungarian,
                                                                                        receiver so that external          Polish, Arabic and Dutch) and
                                                                                        programmers can expand             also block out adult-oriented
                                                                                        the software of their receiv-      Apps.
                                                                                        ers isn’t exactly new. Some
                                                                                        manufacturers have been in-           The Spark App Store itself
                                                                                        cluding just such a concept in     is divided into the categories
                                                                                        their boxes for years already      Hot, Video, Sports, News,
                                                                                        but a weak spot was always         Tools, Game and Music. This
                                                                                        the downloading of these           makes it much easier to find
                                                                                        little programs. Most of the       the particular Apps you’re
                                                                                        time they were scattered           looking for. You can also just
                                                                                        over dozens of websites and        take a look at the Hot cat-
                                                                                        even if a manufacturer went        egory to see what the most
2                                                                                       to the trouble of creating a       popular downloads are from
                                                                                        collection of them on their        other users.
                                                                                        own website, these Apps still
                                                                                        had to first be downloaded           As soon as you select an
                                                                                        to a PC and then transferred       App with the buttons on the
                                                                                        to the receiver. And this is       remote control, a counter
                                                                                                                           appears identifying the num-
                                                                                                                           ber of times that App has al-
                                                                                                                           ready been downloaded. We
                                                                                        1. The Spark Portal in its
                                                                                        delivery state                     also liked that the Spark App
                                                                                                                           Store can not only be orga-
                                                                                        2. Spark App Store settings
                                                                                                                           nized vertically by category
                                                                                        3. The Spark App Store
                                                                                                                           but can also be scrolled hori-
                                                                                        is divided into multiple
                                                                                        categories                         zontally. In this way Fulan
                                                                                                                           is able to offer the greatest
3                                                                                                                          number of Apps while at the
                                                                                                                           same time presenting them
                                                                                                                           in the best possible over-
                                                                                                                           view. Coming up we will be
                                                                                                                           introducing the most inter-
                                                                                                                           esting Apps to you.

                                                                                                                             For German speaking TV
                                                                                                                           viewers you’ll find the Medi-
                                                                                                                           ateks of the two large Ger-
                                                                                                                           man TV channels ARD and
                                                                                                                           ZDF as well as Apps for the
                                                                                                                           most viewed content such as
                                                                                                                           the German news broadcast
                                                                                                                           Tagesschau. You’ll also find
                                                                                                                           other European broadcasters
                                                                                                                           such as the joint German/
                                                                                                                           French channel ARTE with
                                                                                                                           their own Apps.

                                                                                                                             For international TV view-


76 TELE-satellite International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine — 06-07-08/2012 — www.TELE-satellite.com
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6                                                                                                                                                                                            11
                                                                                                                             Since the Spark software       related to soccer and motor
                                                                                                                           works with HDTV receivers,       sports or the video portal
                                                                                                                           the YouTube App can display      spox.com that provides in-
                                                                                                                           video clips in resolutions up    formation and video clips for
                                                                                                                           to 1080p. That makes You-        nearly every type of sport.
                                                                                                                           Tube a lot of fun!
                                                                                                                                                              A unique highlight would
                                                                                                                             The photo site Flickr also     have to be the Wikipedia
                                                                                                                           has an App in the Spark App      App. If you come across an
                                                                                                                           Store and thereby provides       unfamiliar word or technical
                                                                                                                           access to your own pictures,     term during an exciting TV
                                                                                                                           your friend’s pictures or all    documentary, you can quick-
                                                                                                                           of the freely available con-     ly have a look in Wikipedia.
                                                                                                                           tent on the Web. The photos      With the Spark software and
                                                                                                                           can be shown in full-screen      the Wikipedia App, the user
                                                                                                                           mode or in a slide show. We      has complete access to the
                                                                                                                           especially liked how fast the    entire free Internet encyclo-
                                                                                                                           pictures were displayed and      pedia database with just a
                                                                                                                           how easy it was to use the       few commands from the re-
                                                                                                                           App.                             mote control.

7                                                                                         ers there’s, of course, the
                                                                                                                             And all you sports fans out      We were also pleased to        user name and password, the      12
                                                                                                                           there don’t have to worry        see that the Spark software’s
                                                                                          YouTube App. We especially                                                                         entire world of Twitter is at
                                                                                                                           either; numerous sports-         OSD keyboard supported
                                                                                          liked this; it comes with a                                                                        your fingertip. The timeline
                                                                                                                           related Apps are also avail-     multiple languages and their
                                                                                          variety of rich features such                                                                      of the user is displayed in
                                                                                                                           able in the Spark App Store.     language-specific character
                                                                                          as the sorting of displayed      For example, there are Apps                                       an organized fashion and it
                                                                                                                                                            sets whether it’s, for ex-
                                                                                          videos by “Favorite”, “Most                                       ample, German umlauts or         takes just a few clicks on the
                                                                                          Viewed” and “Top Rated” as                                        special Norwegian or Dutch       remote control to answer any
                                                                                                                           4. In addition to news
                                                                                          well as restrictions based on                                     characters. There’s even a       Tweets and also to check out
                                                                                                                           services, Apps such as
                                                                                          category or country. There’s     Twitter and Picasa are also      Cyrillic, Greek or Arabic key-   the profile of any person. You
                                                                                          also a search function that      available                        board available. In this way     can even search for specific
                                                                                          helps you find exactly the       5. Exciting games pass the       (nearly) every user can use      people or search using key-
                                                                                          video clip you want.             time during commercial           the Apps regardless what         words; it makes using this
                                                                                                                           breaks                           language he/she speaks; it       service a breeze.
                                                                                                                           6. The selection in the Spark    lets you use Apps like Wiki-
8                                                                                                                          App Store is already quite       pedia to the fullest extent.     13
                                                                                                                           extensive
                                                                                                                           7. Our receiver’s Spark Portal     The display of search re-
                                                                                                                           after we filled it with Apps
                                                                                                                                                            sults inside the Wikipedia
                                                                                                                           8. The YouTube App lets you
                                                                                                                           display videos from different    App is very practical; as
                                                                                                                           categories                       you’re typing in search cri-
                                                                                                                           9. A country search fine         teria, possible results are
                                                                                                                           tunes the YouTube search         shown on the right side of
                                                                                                                           results
                                                                                                                                                            the screen.
                                                                                                                           10. The YouTube App
                                                                                                                           supports resolutions up to
                                                                                                                           1080p resulting in extremely       There are many of us out
                                                                                                                           sharp video clips                there that use social net-
                                                                                                                           11. The Flickr photo service     works these days. If you
                                                                                                                           also has its own App and its     happen to be sitting on the
                                                                                                                           simple operation shines
                                                                                                                                                            couch and discover an in-
                                                                                                                           12. Flickr lets you comb
                                                                                                                           through millions of pictures     teresting movie to watch,
                                                                                                                           and find what you want with      wouldn’t it be great if you
                                                                                                                           ease                             could tell your friends about
                                                                                                                           13. Apps with extensive info     this discovery? Thanks to the
                                                                                                                           and video clips from the
                                                                                                                           world of sports can also be      Twitter App, it’s no problem
                                                                                                                           found in the Spark App Store     at all. After entering in your


78 TELE-satellite International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine — 06-07-08/2012 — www.TELE-satellite.com                                                                                    www.TELE-satellite.com — 06-07-08/2012 — TELE-satellite International — 全球发行量最大的数字电视杂志   79
14                                                                                   15




16                                                                                                                         often quite difficult. Or did
                                                                                                                           you already know how many
                                                                                                                           muscles a cat has in each
                                                                                                                           ear?

                                                                                                                             Other noteworthy Apps we
                                                                                                                           found included Weather or
                                                                                                                           Picasa (Google’s own photo
                                                                                                                           service) and let’s not forget
                                                                                                                           to mention this App: You-
                                                                                                                           Porn. More than likely you
                                                                                                                           can figure out for yourself
                                                                                                                           what this App is all about.

                                                                                                                             Last but not least we want
                                                                                                                           to introduce an App to you
                                                                                                                           that we really didn’t expect
                                                                                                                           to find in this forum: namely
                                                                                                                           Delivery Service. Yes, you
                                                                                                                           read that correctly.

                                                                                                                             With this App you can or-
17                                                                                                                         der anything from a classic
                                                                                          For most TV viewers com-         pizza to oriental food up to
                                                                                        mercial breaks are undoubt-        and including Gyros. That’s
                                                                                        edly annoying. One way to          right, you can order anything
                                                                                        pass the time during these         to eat directly from your re-
                                                                                        breaks is to play games. Even      ceiver and in less than 30
                                                                                        here the Spark App Store           minutes the delivery guy will
                                                                                        has what you need; game            knock on your door at home.
                                                                                        Apps such as Black Jack or
                                                                                        Quizzmaster are available.           There’s only one limitation:
                                                                                        We found Quizzmaster to be         this Spark App is only linked
                                                                                        especially interesting; the        to Lieferservice.de and take-
                                                                                        questions posed to users are       away.com and so can only
                                                                                        not only creative but they’re      be used in a few European
                                                                                                                           countries. The graphical pre-
18
                                                                                                                           sentation and above all the
                                                                                                                           choices available in this App
                                                                                                                           are excellent.

                                                                                                                             After entering in your
                                                                                                                           postal code you’re instantly
                                                                                                                           presented with a list of all
                                                                                                                           orderable products as well as


                                                                                                                           14. The Spark App
                                                                                                                           platform’s OSD keyboard
                                                                                                                           supports the special
                                                                                                                           characters from many
                                                                                                                           different countries
                                                                                                                           15. The Wikipedia App
                                                                                                                           begins showing results in a
                                                                                                                           side bar during a search
                                                                                                                           16. The results of a
                                                                                                                           Wikipedia search are easily
                                                                                                                           readable within the App
                                                                                                                           17. Twitter Login
                                                                                                                           18. Twitter Timeline


80 TELE-satellite International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine — 06-07-08/2012 — www.TELE-satellite.com
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21                                                                                                                                                                                               27
                                                                                                                           the providers. If you’re or-        at the top edge of the screen
                                                                                                                           dering a pizza you can even         (that can actually be called
                                                                                                                           add your own individual top-        up in any App) makes it pos-
                                                                                                                           pings.                              sible to navigate within the
                                                                                                                                                               Spark Portal and also lets
                                                                                                                             This is especially practi-        you turn the OSD keyboard
                                                                                                                           cal when you’re like us here        on or off as well as activate/
                                                                                                                           in the test center and like to      deactivate the mouse point-
                                                                                                                           eat a salami pizza with chili       er.
                                                                                                                           and onion toppings; it’s a
                                                                                                                           combination that you don’t            We enjoyed taking a closer
                                                                                                                           typically find on every menu.       look at the Spark Portal and
                                                                                                                                                               the Spark App Store.
                                                                                                                              To round it all off, the func-
                                                                                                                           tional capability of the Spark        Thanks to efficient hard-
                                                                                                                           Portal is further enhanced by       ware and the clean program-
                                                                                                                           the integrated Opera brows-         ming of the Apps, they are all
                                                                                                                           er that provides complete           fun to use and lift the already
                                                                                                                           access to the World Wide            outstanding Spark software
                                                                                                                           Web. A dedicated menu bar           to a higher level.

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24                                                                                                                                                                                               30
                                                                                                                           19. A new Tweet can be              26. You can order a pizza
                                                                                                                           started or the profile of a         from the standard menu...
                                                                                                                           user can be viewed with just
                                                                                                                           one push of a button on the         27. ....or you can custom
                                                                                                                           remote control                      order a pizza with your
                                                                                                                                                               favorite toppings
                                                                                                                           20. Black Jack is an enjoyable
                                                                                                                           pastime during a commercial         28. The practical navigation
                                                                                                                           break                               bar at the top of the screen
                                                                                                                           21. The Black Jack App is           lets you start the Opera
                                                                                                                           pleasing to the eye graphically     browser and also lets you
                                                                                                                           and also easy to use                turn the OSD keyboard and
                                                                                                                           22. The Quizzmaster App             mouse pointer displays on
                                                                                                                           can be played with up to four       or off
                                                                                                                           people
                                                                                                                                                               29. The Opera browser
                                                                                                                           23. The Quizzmaster App
                                                                                                                                                               comes with a start page with
                                                                                                                           questions are funny and
                                                                                                                           occasionally difficult              links to many well-known
                                                                                                                                                               and popular web sites
                                                                                                                           24. This turned out to be
                                                                                                                           nothing...                          30. The Microsoft search
                                                                                                                           25. The Delivery Service App        engine Bing as seen through
                                                                                                                           provides you with all kinds of      the integrated Opera
                                                                                                                           food and snacks                     browser


82 TELE-satellite International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine — 06-07-08/2012 — www.TELE-satellite.com                                                                              www.TELE-satellite.com — 06-07-08/2012 — TELE-satellite International — 全球发行量最大的数字电视杂志   83

				
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