Technical evaluation of Digital Interactive Television Pilot by pengxiuhui

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									Technical evaluation of Digital Interactive Television Pilot       September 2005

            Technical evaluation
            of Digital Interactive
            Television Pilot

            September 2005

                                                               a   b c
 Technical evaluation of Digital Interactive Television Pilot                                             September 2005

This document has been prepared for the titled project or named part thereof and should not be relied upon or used for any
other project without an independent check being carried out as to its suitability and prior written authority of Mott
MacDonald being obtained. Mott MacDonald accepts no responsibility or liability for the consequence of this document
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Mott MacDonald for all loss or damage resulting therefrom. Mott MacDonald accepts no responsibility or liability for this
document to any party other than the person by whom it was commissioned.

Technical evaluation of Digital Interactive Television Pilot                 September 2005


Glossary                                                                                 1

1        Preface/Forward                                                                 4

2        Executive Summary                                                               5
         2.1      Background                                                             5
         2.2      Findings                                                               5
         2.3      Conclusions                                                            6
         2.4      Conclusion                                                             7

3        Introduction and Methodology                                                    8
         3.1      Overview                                                               8
         3.2      Methodology                                                            8

4        Outline of the Scottish DiTV trial                                             11

5        Current Market                                                                 12
         5.1      Digital Television Penetration                                        12
         5.2      OFCOM Switchover Plans                                                13
         5.3      Service Providers and Market Growth                                   14
         5.4      Marketing                                                             20
         5.5      Content                                                               23
         5.6      Standards                                                             31

6        Future Developments                                                            41
         6.1      Key Emerging Platforms                                                41
         6.2      HDTV                                                                  41
         6.3      Mobile TV                                                             44
         6.4      IPTV                                                                  47
         6.5      New Product Categories                                                53
         6.6      Infrastructure                                                        54

7        Interactive digital TV and Government electronic service delivery              59
         7.1      Interactive                                                           59
         7.2      Government Departments                                                61
         7.3      Integrated Digital TV and Interactive Digital TV                      62
         7.4      Digital or not?                                                       62
         7.5      Cognitive Factors                                                     64
         7.6      Community                                                             65

Technical evaluation of Digital Interactive Television Pilot                   September 2005

         7.7      Local services                                                          65
         7.8      BBC Local TV initiatives                                                66
         7.9      Platforms                                                               67
         7.10     Summary                                                                 71

8        Leading Government DiTV initiatives                                              73
         8.1      Department of Health (DH): NHS Direct TV                                73
         8.2      KiT – Hull                                                              76
         8.3      Department for Education and Skills (DFES) – “Teachers TV”              77
         8.4      Carpenters TV – RegenTV                                                 79
         8.5      RegenTV                                                                 80
         8.6      ODPM / DigiTV: Local Authorities                                        81
         8.7      Public Sector DiTV Initiatives decline                                  83
         8.8      Cabinet Office e-GU focus shift                                         84
         8.9      Comparison Tables                                                       86

9        Public Services via Interactive TV                                               90
         9.1      Context                                                                 90
         9.2      Customisation                                                           91
         9.3      Security                                                                95
         9.4      Choice                                                                  96
         9.5      Credibility                                                             99
         9.6      Convenience                                                            100
         9.7      Contact                                                                106
         9.8      Comfort                                                                107
         9.9      Confirmation                                                           109
         9.10     Confidentiality                                                        109
         9.11     Confidence                                                             111
         9.12     Coverage                                                               113
         9.13     Charges                                                                113
         9.14     Cost                                                                   115
         9.15     Interactivity                                                          117
         9.16     Connectivity                                                           119
         9.17     Control                                                                122
         9.18     Compatibility                                                          129
         9.19     Coordination                                                           132
         9.20     Convergence                                                            134
         9.21     Commercial                                                             136

Technical evaluation of Digital Interactive Television Pilot             September 2005

10       Usability & Accessibility                                                 139
         10.1     Government and Citizen mismatch                                  139
         10.2     Visual Impairment                                                141
         10.3     Hearing Impairment                                               142
         10.4     Dexterity Impairment                                             142
         10.5     Cognitive Impairment                                             143
         10.6     The disadvantages of ageing                                      147
         10.7     Maximising the digital audience                                  147
         10.8     Usability, Accessibility and DiTV trials                         147

11       The Potential for the ODPM Starter Kit                                    149
         11.1     Starter Kit Background                                           149
         11.2     DigiTV Costs                                                     149
         11.3     A Kirklees managed project – reliant on ODPM funding             151
         11.4     Future of the Starter Kit ?                                      152

12       Conclusions                                                               153

13       Further Recommendations                                                   155

14       Appendices                                                                156


21CN       21st Century Network – British Telecom’s name for their planned replacement – all IP
           based network

3G         Third Generation –mobile phones

API        Application Programming Interface

BMRB       British Market Research Bureau

BSkyB      British Sky Broadcasting – Digital Satellite Platform operator in UK and Skydigital
           receivers and services.

CAI        Confederation of Aerial Industries

COFDM      Coded Orthogonal Frequency Divisional Multiplexing – A means of modulating DTT
           frequencies. Currently the UK deploys the 2K variant but is set to migrate to the 8K
           alternative that can allow a single frequency network and mobile TV possibilities

CRT        Cathode Ray Tube

DCMS       Department for Culture Media and Sport

DFES       Department for Education and Skills

DH         Department of Health

DiTV       Digital interactive television

xDSL       Digital Subscriber Line. The “x” prefixes represents different network alternatives
           such as ADSL (Asynchronous); SDSL (Synchronous) networks

DTG        Digital Television Group

DTI        Department of Trade & Industry

DTT        Digital Terrestrial Television – For Digital TV via an aerial

DTV        Digital Television

DiTV       Digital interactive television

DVR        Digital Video Recorder. Typically referred to as PVRs but unlike such products like
           Tivo or Sky+ are not tied to a monthly service subscription

EBU        European Broadcasting Union

e-GIF      E-government Interoperability Framework

e-GU       e-Government Unit – the largest unit in the Cabinet Office responsible for formulating
           information technology (IT) strategy and policy, developing common IT components
           for use across government, promoting best practice across government, delivering

           citizen-centred online services.

EPG        Electronic Program Guide

ETSI       European Telecommunications Standards Institute

FTA        Free to Air

Freeview   Name of service operating on the UK Digital Terrestrial TV Platform. Freeview is co-
           owned by the BBC, CrownCastle UK and BSkyB Marketing.

HDTV       High Definition TV. An extension of DTV to provide high resolution bandwidth
           hungry services.

IDS        Interactive Digital Sales – Division of Flextech focused on Interactive Advertising

IDTV       Integrated Digital Television set – a TV with built in digital decoder, typically for
           Freeview DTT.

IDTV       Interactive Digital Television

IPTV       Internet Protocol Television

IrDA       Infrared Data Association: an organisation that defines the infrared communications
           protocol used by many laptops & mobile phones to exchange data at short ranges.

iMP        Interactive Multimedia Player – new video on demand application from the BBC
           enabling viewers to watch programmes up to a week after first shown

LED        Light emitting diode

Mbps       Megabits per second

MCIM       Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketers

MHEG       Multimedia and Hypermedia Experts Group. Develops within the International
           Standards Organisation (ISO) several standards, which deal with the coded
           representation of Multimedia and Hypermedia Information. MHEG-5 is the fifth
           standard developed and is utilized in UK Freeview DTT receivers to supply Digital
           Teletext and other enhanced data services.

MHP        Multimedia Home Platform – Interactive middleware standard from DVB

MMS        Multimedia Message Services – Sending of richer picture/video based messages

ODPM       Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

OEM        Original Equipment Manufacturer. A company that manufactures a product and sells it
           to a reseller.

PIN        Personal Identity Number

PPV        Pay Per View

PSB        Public Service Broadcast

PVR     Personal Video Recorder – such as Sky+. PVRs are essentially DVRs with hard disk
        storage linked to an EPG available on a monthly subscription

QAM     Quadrature Amplitude Modulation

SCART   Syndicat des Constructeurs d'Appareils Radior cepteurs et T l viseurs – French created
        but now World standard 21 pin connector for AV connections between TV and
        peripheral devices.

SMS     Short Message Services - Mobile Phone Texting of data based messages typically by
        and to mobile phones

SSSL    Sky Subscribers Services Ltd

Telco   Telecoms company

TDN     The Digital Network. Consortium of DTT platform Multiplex Operators

VOD     Video on demand

WAP     Wireless Application Protocol - A global, open standard for providing mobile phones,
        pagers and other handheld devices with secure access to e-mail and simple webpages.

WEEE    European Community directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment which
        together with the RoHS-Directive became European Law in February 2003, setting
        collection, recycling and recovery targets for all types of electrical goods.

WiFi    Wireless Fidelity

WIMAX   an acronym that stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access

WiBro   Wireless Broadband: a broadband wireless internet technology being developed by the
        Korean telecoms industry

STB     Set top box

OFCOM   Office of Communications

L.A     Local Authority

1       Preface/Forward

This report was commissioned by the Scottish Executive and undertakes a technical
assessment of the Digital interactive Television (DiTV) pilot.

The Scottish Executive is committed to exploring and developing innovative ways of
delivering public services through a range of channels. The Scottish Executive partnership for
a better Scotland states that the Executive is committed to “increasing the number and range
of government services in Scotland delivered electronically and online”.

The overall aim of this report is to provide guidance to the Scottish Executive in the
development of its ongoing strategy for government services delivered via DiTV.

2       Executive Summary

2.1     Background

The Scottish Executive’s Digital interactive Television (DiTV) trial founded on the Sky
digital satellite platform has failed to generate significant use by its target community. The
pilot launch was delayed at least in part due to the collapse of a 3rd party developer. These
delays were largely experienced in providing Media highway/MHEG solutions for the
competing ITV Digital platform and not best placed to interface with British Sky
Broadcasting (BSkyB) Sky Subscribers Services Ltd (SSSL) testing and Open TV
middleware. Use of a PC based demonstrator failed to fully educate and instruct potential
users and hid factors for use of the deployed equipment. Post trial research was very limited
due to the very low number of people that accessed the pilot.

The following reveals key findings, conclusions and recommendations for the Scottish
Executive to consider.

2.2     Findings

1. On 15th September 2005, Secretary of State, Tessa Jowell, announced she had approved
   Office of Communications (OFCOM’s) provisional timetable for UK Digital Television
   (DTV) Switchover. All TV reception and recording devices deployed in the UK will need
   to be digital enabled by the end of 2012. A phased regional transmitter switch programme
   will commence in 2008 starting with the Scottish Borders region and ending 4 years later
   with the Channel Islands. This will be focused on core Public Service Broadcast (PSB)
   provision and extend Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) coverage to similar levels to
   current analogue reception.

2. The UK is the leading DTV market with over 15.5 million homes having Digital
   Television in one form or another (30-40m in Europe total). This equates to approximately
   63% of all UK homes. The market has matured and the remaining 8-9 million analogue
   only homes are dominated by older and poorer communities, many in rural areas currently
   unable to receive DTV.

3. UK DTV Growth is largely attributed to Freeview DTT. It accounted for 70% of growth
   in 2004 and is enjoying weekly sales six to eight times those of Sky and cable combined.
   Freeview DTT Set Top Boxes (STB’s) are now available for as little as £29. This
   represents a one off purchase price equivalent to a Sky digital mid tier monthly
   subscription and 35% less than the monthly charge for Sky’s top tier package.

4. Digital cable growth remains flat with a base of around 3.3 million homes. There are
   approximately 740,000 analogue cable subscribers who are expected to migrate to digital
   alternatives relatively easily dependent on how NTL/Telewest merger discussions
   conclude and networks are upgraded. Operators continue to focus on combined broadband
   and telephony packages at the expense of DTV, this and the inability to serve rural areas
   offers little scope for Scottish Executive.

5. Looking forward, there are three key new technology areas that are emerging:

           •   High Definition TV (HDTV) - bandwidth hungry, expensive niche market that
               will largely appeal to more affluent groups and will be less relevant to
               Government DiTV initiatives, though cost may reduce in the longer term.

           •   Mobile TV - Consumer interest is yet to be proven but the various single and
               dual platform alternatives could offer a compelling personalised and
               regionalised alternative for two way communications with individuals.

           •   Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) - IPTV that is set to provide the Scottish Executive
               with the most compelling means of offering rich video and audio based
               interactivity with citizens;

                  I. With ubiquitous broadband reach being extended to homes by next year
                     (2006) and supported by fixed wireless and 3rd generation counterparts, a
                     suitable mass reach network is emerging

                  II. The current 1Mbps standard is fast moving to 3Mbps and onto 10Mbps
                     within 3 years, before perhaps exceeding 20Mbps or more beyond 2010

                 III. Key broadcast players such as the BBC, Channel 4, BSkyB plus BT
                     amongst others are racing to offer TV programmes over the Internet

6. Research suggests that other Public Sector DiTV trials in the UK have proven to be more
   effective than the Scottish Executive trial. Factors influencing this include focus,
   marketing and platform. The Scottish Executive trial has tried to address too wide an
   audience with minimal marketing and on a platform with minimal scope.

2.3       Conclusions

1. Many Government projects are short term pilots or trials without long term strategies tied
   to Government’s overall objectives such as Digital Switchover.

      •   Until Government departments and other public sector organisations collaborate to
          capture best practice and critically develop common platform requirements, there is
          little chance of industry being compelled to deliver suitable solutions.

      •   A coordinated single approach to industry with a large scale commercial business
          case is necessary to gain industry interest. Industry groups such as the Digital
          Television Group (DTG), Intellect, Digital UK, the Department of Trade and Industry
          (DTI) led Digital Switchover Group and the BBC are best placed to advise the
          Scottish Executive.

2. As the leading DTV market the UK is at the forefront of trialling the delivery of Public
   services via DTV. However, evidence suggests that a successful offering that can be
   deployed to a larger audience and sustained in the medium to long term has still to be

3. A fundamental factor in all major DiTV trials to date is that none have considered
   usability and accessibility issues in any detail. Rather, most have tried to deploy the
   available DTV products typically from Satellite and cable.

4. Heaviest users of Government services are the elderly and poor groups and authorities
   allocate the majority of their resources to addressing these sections of the community. The
   elderly D and E groups are less disposed to digital TV as highlighted in Chapter 10 page
   140, those that are have selected the simpler, less expensive / no contract Freeview DTT
   option. The provision of fewer but more mainstream programmes from trusted channels
   such as the BBC is a significant contributory factor.

5. Freeview attracts an older demographic and in principle is a good match with the leading
   base of Government electronic services users. Older age groups can be encouraged to use
   DiTV when the programme is of relevant interest to them. However, many continue to
   ignore the red button as a result of confusion, lack of knowledge or other cognitive

6. DiTV is not a key driver for DTV take up.

      •   No one is rushing to press the interactive ‘red’ button or buy equipment to receive
          interactive services.

      •   The TV remains primarily as a shared viewing entertainment based device – not
          consistent with the more personal, lean forward, and secure needs of most Interactive

      •   Most see the PC/Internet as a more logical medium for Interactive services.

      •   Mobile phone/SMS texting ties to popular programmes have been very successful and
          broadcasters are building on this as a primary route for developing interactivity with
          Freeview DTT.

7. The most successful interactive applications are those that are entertainment based.
   Leading are those that are directly associated with or form part of a popular TV
   programme. DiTV usage is characterised by short visits typically running from 1 to 10

8. With one exception there are no Freeview DTT receivers available with an inherent return
   path for true two way interactive services. This will limit the level of interactive services
   that can be offered. Manufacturers and other industry stakeholders continue to see no
   commercial justification for developing such a product when demands for low cost
   devices with restricted features are so strong, and there is little evidence for DiTV demand
   and not least Government oriented services (Chapter 7, p68).

2.4       Conclusion

The Scottish Executive will need to consider whether to move forward with DiTV as a
mechanism for Electronic Service Delivery. There is an opportunity to build on the fast take
up of the different broadcast services now, and also to benefit from the Digital Switchover
(and associated marketing) helping to move people away from analogue TV. This will require
working with different platforms and associated capabilities.

Alternatively the Executive can continue to develop their existing Internet oriented services
with a view to converging them to emerging IPTV based solutions. This could provide the
most effective cost/benefit route in the medium to longer term.

3        Introduction and Methodology

3.1      Overview

The Scottish Executive ran a Digital interactive Television (DiTV) pilot as part of an overall
commitment to explore innovative ways of making public services available, and increasing
the level of government services available electronically. This pilot is now complete and a
separate evaluation was undertaken to understand the experiences, perceptions and
preferences of both the service providers and users alike.

This report undertakes a review of current and emerging trends in interactive television
technology, both within the UK and Internationally. It considers the infrastructures, platforms
for delivery and the applications and uses of DiTV. The aim is to place the DiTV pilot in
context with these trends to inform future developments and investment in public sector DiTV
services across Scotland.

The specific objectives for this report as set out in the invitation to tender are:

          •   To identify current and future world trends for the use of interactive television
              technology for the delivery of public services, paying particular attention to
              target audience, durability, cost effectiveness and examples of those public
              services which can or can not be delivered through this channel

          •   To compare the usage trends of digital interactive television within the UK in
              relation to the rest of the world in terms of take up; and the efficiency and
              effectiveness of delivering public services

          •   To identify successful deployment of DiTV as a channel of delivery by UK
              public service organisations highlighting the reasons for success

          •   To provide advice on the relevance of DiTV as public service delivery channel
              in relation to other channels

          •   To evaluate the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) StarterKit as a
              medium to a long term technical solution.

3.2      Methodology

The key areas of infrastructure, delivery platform, audience and services have been

          Infrastructure Current and developing networks available for DiTV systems

         Platforms        The mediums by which the users will interact with the service, such
                          as Digital TV, Mobile TV, IPTV or HDTV

         Audience         The types of audiences or groups of users that that may be attracted
                          to DiTV and will encompass social issues and groupings

         Services         Services that may be provided via DiTV.

This enabled creation of a view, matching DiTV services with the infrastructure that is needed
to support them, and the time at which this infrastructure might be expected to be made
widely available. This was then used to generate a road-map for DiTV services and informed
the recommendations for future developments of DiTV.

3.2.1    Interactive DiTV

The following levels of interaction are also considered:

         •    DiTV that is Push (Teletext selection approach)

         •    DiTV that is Push and Pull, (return path via modem), minimal interaction

         •    DiTV that is Pull and Push, where the user selects, and has the ability to have a
              high level of interaction with what they view.

Previous work has shown that the level of interaction is largely determined by the
infrastructure and platforms that are available and consequently have an impact on the level of
service that can be offered. It was important to identify not only the industry trends but also to
understand the degree of interaction offered via the pilot scheme.

3.2.2    Relevance of DiTV as a channel of delivery

Having developed a matching visualisation of services and infrastructure, this enabled a much
clearer picture as to the level of interaction and consequently the level of service that may be
offered. It was important to establish this in order to consider DiTV’s long-term relevance in
relation to other channels.

3.2.3    Usage Trends

For this area recent research has been utilised that was undertaken for other clients
particularly the DTI and the Cabinet Office.

3.2.4    Research

Research and current data from the following organisations has been used within this report -

        The DTV Group (UK)– Interfaces with the DVB as the primary standard for DTV in
        the world. The DTV has a history of developing UK standards and subsets that fit into
        the wider DVB specifications.

        Ofcom – Communications market reports, data on current markets and trends, plus
        any spectrum related regulation issues.

        DTI – Digital television project research and reports.

        Intellect – The digital TV manufacturers Forum. This helped to provide an insight of
        manufacturer’s intentions for commercial and technical deployments. This is
        significant for those who may aspire to launch DiTV services but cannot do so without
        support of manufacturers to derive and deliver suitable DTV hardware for them.
        Intellect is also well placed on convergent technologies with sections in broadband, IT
        and mobile telecom’s.

        In addition, full use has been made of the research data from the contacts and sources
        identified in the tender document and the evaluation report ‘Review of Interactive
        Digital Television Pilot (23rd August 05).

3.2.5    Evaluation of the ODPM Starter kit

An evaluation of the ODPM starter kit was undertaken against the roadmap and findings
generated from this report. This comments on the technical capability of the starter kit to
support where findings suggest that DiTV will be going in the medium to long term. Potential
gaps in capability are highlighted and suggestions for further development of the kit provided.

4       Outline of the Scottish DiTV trial
In order to investigate digital TV as a means of providing information about public services
the Scottish Executive set up an inter-agency working group in 2002, made up of partners
interested in contributing content to a pilot. The group consisted of representatives from the
Scottish Executive, West Lothian Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Young Scot,
StartHere and the Health Education Board for Scotland ( HEBS).

The intention was for the pilot to run early in 2003, providing informational content from
each of these providers, and accessed via the UK Online service available on Sky digital
television. Technical and commercial challenges delayed this and the pilot eventually ran
from 7th September 2004 for 6 months.

A full evaluation of the pilot exploring partner organisations and users experiences,
perceptions and preferences was undertaken in a separately commissioned report, some of the
key points arising from this were:

         •   Technical challenges in meeting standards for pages to function on Sky

         •   Content was both informational and interactive

         •   Interesting and easy to use but with a narrow scope

         •   There was an inability to integrate the service with partners existing content
             management systems

         •   Interactive government services via TV are still very much in their infancy

         •   Limited users of the system made it difficult to analyse trends

         •   Significant achievement in realising Government services via DiTV

         •   Marketing of the pilot was limited.

It is clear that the partners and developers involved in the project gained extensive
organisational and individual knowledge about a platform that at the time was still very much
in its infancy.

5       Current Market
The market has moved on since the Scottish Executive applied their trial. This section reviews
the current market size and growth patterns for each of the UK digital broadcasting platforms.
Importantly it identifies the significance of Freeview DTT leading new growth and the need
to do more to address key elderly and ethnic groups. Following the Secretary of State Tessa
Jowell's announcement on 15th September 2005, the UK Switchover programme is confirmed
and this section gives details of the plan and also on its implementation by “Digital UK”
(formerly Switchco). Importantly, the section also covers current DiTV factors that as with
the Scottish Executive continue to impact development of the medium.

EU drives for open standards and potential new technologies are also covered but as yet may
fail to deflect current industry trends as the UK continues to lead the World in DTV and
carries large legacy bases.

5.1     Digital Television Penetration

According to latest OFCOM statistics and operators results, By 30 June 2005 digital TV
penetration was estimated to have reached 15.7m or 63.0% of UK households, up from
61.9% at 31 March 2005. The number of digital television households grew by almost
298,000 during the quarter, increasing digital penetration by 1.1% points.

Take up of DTV by homes each month is around 250,000 which equates to more than the
whole of a city the size of Sheffield.

This high take up has to be measured against the number of TV reception and recording
devices in homes. Within the 63%, many homes only have Digital on their main TV and VCR
but still have an average 2 or 3 more devices in the home that will need to be converted or
replaced prior to Switchover. Industry analysis indicates there is a base of between 75 and 100
million devices to still be addressed.

Having said that, evidence exists that consumers are now adding digital to other TVs in their
homes – typically via set top boxes bought as presents for children or parents. According to
their latest Quarterly Digital Uptake Report for Q2 2005, OFCOM suggests that 29.6% of
Freeview box sales purchased in the previous quarter were to convert second TV sets in the
same household. This equates to a total of 2.25 million Freeview boxes being used on
secondary sets by viewers who already have digital (either Freeview or Sky or cable) on their
main set. This figure shows an increase on Q1, when 25% of DTT sets was estimated to be
used on second sets.

At the end of June 2005, 2.8% of households were still subscribing to analogue cable,
bringing the total receiving some form of multi-channel television to just over 65.8%. Subject
to how NTL and Telewest merger discussions and networks development progress – these
homes are expected to migrate to a digital alternative quickly.

Based on the above, some 8-9 million homes have yet to move to digital. Many of these will
home elderly and those from lower socio demographic profiles. These represent the most
significant base of people that draw on local authority and other agencies resources.

5.2     OFCOM Switchover Plans

OFCOM aim for DTT coverage to reach 98.5% of the population by the time of the switch-
off, the same proportion that is currently reached by the analogue service. Currently only 76%
of households receive DTV. The switchover is planned to start in the Scottish Borders in 2008
and will continue region-by-region until reaching the south-east in 2012.

The 98.5% figure falls just short of the Government's 1999 target of 99.5% for digital
reception and will mean that around 375,000 (1.5%) of the population (mostly in the Welsh
valleys and Scottish highlands) will continue to find that their screens will be permanently
fuzzy after the switchover. Ofcom is currently researching what could be done with these
viewers. Options might include deployment of Freesat, or fixed/wireless broadband
developments. Ofcom’s report also lays out plans to boost the power of the signal allowing
broadcasters to squeeze more space out of the spectrum and increasing possibilities for high-
definition broadcasts, further local channels or interactive elements for radio or television.

Ofcom says that there are advantages in adopting the “64QAM” transmission mode. This
potentially allows more channels, at the expense of being less robust to noise.

When Freeview was launched, the BBC and Crown Castle multiplexes switched their signals
to “16QAM” to provide a more robust signal at the comparatively low power levels used. At
the time this was seen as essential to the launch of Freeview, but the other commercial
multiplexes continued to use 64QAM and consequently could fit in more services, equivalent
to two or three channels per multiplex.

To compensate for any change to 64QAM, higher power levels may need to be used, and
additional transmitters may be required on the south coast of England, which would need
international clearance.

Another issue pondered and approved by Ofcom is a move from a transmission standard using
2,000 sub-carrier frequencies, known as 2K, to an alternative using 8,000, known as 8K. The

later allows a single frequency network to be deployed
and opens possibilities for mobile TV. However, it
could be a problem for a small minority of current
receivers, notably the original ITV Digital set-top
boxes and certain integrated digital televisions that
only support 2K.

The current plan is digital switchover to be complete
sometime around the end of 2012 through a phased
switchover region-by-region. Assuming OFCOM’s
initial timetable is signed off by the Secretary of State
Tessa Jowell, the process will commence in the
Scottish Borders in 2008 and end with the Channel
Islands some four years later.

The full switchover timetable, subject to government
confirmation, is shown in the table across.

5.3      Service Providers and Market Growth

5.3.1    Freeview
The weekly sales rate for Freeview DTT has been averaging between five and eight times that
or BSkyB’s satellite services and those for cable combined. According to OFCOM the free-
to-view digital terrestrial service, was once again the largest contributor to growth in take-up.
OFCOM indicate that Freeview DTT had another strong quarter of growth with over 700,000
sales of Freeview set top boxes and iDTVs by the end of Q2. This exceeded the
corresponding quarter for 2004, when 496,000 sales were added. This compares to BSkyB
who increased subscriber numbers in the UK by 75,000 to reach 7,424,000 in the UK at the
end of Q2 2005. The total number of subscribers to cable television also increased in the
quarter to just over 3.3 million. Digital cable increased by over 57,000 in Q2 and now
accounts for over 2.6 million of the total.
Freeview DTT growth is attributed largely to:

         •    The low cost of Freeview STB’s. These are now retailing for as little as £29

         •    Heavy promotion by the BBC and latterly Channel for E4 services

         •    No subscription charges for the Freeview service that attracts more people
              through offering fewer but more relevant channels than Sky.

         •    Availability of integrated digital TVs (IDTV) from around £349 available from
              many retailers to include such as Tescos and Woolworths.

         •    New Freeview based combination products – e.g. DVR’s, DVD Recorders and
              LCD/Plasma screen sets with built in DTT tuners.

Unlike Sky+, all of the DTT PVRs benefits the user with a subscription free Electronic
Program Guide (EPG) for simple timed recording. However some use a proprietary data
service from provider 4TV who rent limited bandwidth on Freeview which restricts schedule
updates to 3am in the morning.

The use of 4TV raises issues that the Scottish Executive and other public sector bodies should
consider when engaging in DiTV initiatives and these are highlighted later in the report.

In its 2005 forecasts, Opera the media negotiating division of OMD media claims that
Freeview will be in more homes than Sky digital by the end of 2005 and will come to
dominate the DTV market in years to come.

With free-to-air digital box sets available in the shops for as little as £30, Opera predicts a
major shift in the order of supremacy, forecasting that Freeview will be in 10 million homes
by the end of 2006 – five years ahead of Sky.

Although it describes Freeview’s channel line-up as “not comparable in any way to the
quality of Sky’s offering”, Opera’s report claims that Freeview is currently outstripping Sky’s
sales by ten to one, mainly because of the appeal of the lower price of the service. Other, more
conservative estimates from Sky rivals put the current figure at nearer 7 to one.

Sky’s own sources have described the figures as “totally wrong”. They claim that Opera’s
report is based on a “fundamental error” of comparing sales of Freeview boxes, with Sky
subscriber uptake, driven by a range of different marketing channels.

Sky claims hundreds of thousands of Freeview boxes which feature in the report have been
bought with the intention of being used in second rooms in UK homes, many of which also
have Sky.

Other predictions of March 2004, made in Zenith Optimedia’s UK Television Forecast 2007
add pressure on Sky. Zenith claim Freeview could outstrip Sky by 2007 when it expects the
DTT service will be adopted by almost 10 million households, with Sky in 8.9 million UK
homes and cable in just 3.5 million. The study also suggest 87% of households will have gone
digital by 2008, leaving only a small minority of die-hard analogue viewers.

It adds that cable would continue to struggle, despite the prospect of a merger between
Telewest and NTL. Zenith argues there is no compelling case for digital cable. A merger
would cut the cost base, but it won't help the marketing of cable with people not caring who
owns it.

By the end of 2007, Zenith expects 22.3 million out of a total of 25.6 million homes to be
watching digital TV.

5.3.2   Top Up TV

February 2005 saw David Chance, who runs the "pay TV lite" service Top Up TV (TUTV)
predict DTT sales would top 8 million by the end of the next year.

TUTV offers Freeview customers an extra 10 channels for a monthly fee of £7.99 with the
opportunity to “dip in and out” of the service as they wish and subject to one month’s notice.
The service requires Freeview DTT receivers that carry a TUTV smartcard interface or an
alternative Common Interface module and card can be inserted into receivers such as the
Netgem iPlayer STB or many IDTV sets. Channels it offers include popular UKTV services
UKTV Gold and UKStyle. Alongside these are Discovery and Turner Classic Movies.
Significantly all of these appeal to the older viewers. Recent important introductions include
British Eurosport plus Setanta. Significantly this offers exclusive live coverage of Scottish
Premier League Football.

David Chance who is also an ITV director and a former BSkyB deputy chief executive
anticipates Freeview box sales in the calendar year will exceed 3 million units. He says that
by December 2005, the Freeview platform could be as big as Sky

Industry sources indicate that TUTV has now collected around 160,000 customers in under a
year, with the majority apparently staying with the £7.99 a month service. Top Up TV
launched in April 2004 targeting 250,000 users within two years to break even.

5.3.3   BSkyB

BSkyB announced record profits for the 12 months to 30 June 2005, with profits after tax up
32%, to £425 million on turnover of £4.048 billion. By the end of June it had 7.8 million
direct-to-home (DTH) subscribers, adding 83,000 in the final quarter of the reporting period.

It added just over 400,000 subscribers during the course of the year and said it remains on
track to reach its target of eight million subscribers by the end of the calendar year. Churn was
down slightly in the most recent quarter, but remained fractionally above its long-term target
of 10%.

There were 888,000 Sky+ households by the end of June, more than double the previous
year’s figure and representing 11% of all DTH subscribers. Multi-room households – those
with subscriptions on more than one set in the home – have also more than doubled, to

New and alternative revenue streams grew in importance, with SkyBet revenues up 37% over
the previous year at £261 million. BSkyB says it expects SkyBet revenues to exceed
advertising revenues (which were £329 million in the 12 months to June) in 2006. Sky Active
revenues were down slightly, from £116 million in 2004 to £92 million in 2005. BSkyB has
reaffirmed its commitment to launch high definition services in “early 2006”, incorporating
enhanced PVR capability as well as high quality pictures. More on this is carried in the Future
developments section.

Sky take-up slows

New statistics released on the 15th September by OFCOM, showed BSkyB’s subscriber base
increased by 75,000 net addition during Q2 05 to reach 7,424,000 subscribers in the UK.
During the previous quarter BSkyB had added 87,000 subscribers.

 BSkyB’s own data presented in their July results shows
 new DTH home growth reducing year on year through
 the last 3 years. The approx 7.8 million total homes they
 secured by June 30th 2005 represents a 432,000 increase
 on the total for 2004. This compares with obtaining
 510,000 in the preceding year from June 2003. The
 company’s growth has to be set against the number of
 existing Sky homes that may elect to cancel
 subscriptions and move away from Sky (“churn”). The
 company aims to maintain this at around 10%. As their
 chart shows below they have generally been successful
 but saw a rise to 11% in Q3 this year.

BSkyB remains on track to reach its target of 8 million subscribers by December 2005 but
will need to work hard with new products and services to achieve the 10 million it has set to
reach by 2010.

Latest estimates suggest there are also around 492,000 free-to-view digital satellite homes.
This figure includes viewers who are no longer Sky subscribers but still receive the public
service channels through their set-top box. Also included in this figure are the “Solus”
viewers who are able to receive the public service channels through this scheme.

The Sky+ 160 offers approximately 80 hours of TV programme storage (four times the
current capacity) and was available from October 2004. The new unit is manufactured by
Thomson and also includes a USB port, though Sky says they have no current plans that
incorporate it. There are many things it could be used for - including transferring content,
gaming and even video conferencing. All Sky+ boxes will receive a software upgrades that
will allow subscribers to make digital recordings of scheduled interactive programmes on all
digital satellite channels. Users will be able to record up to two video streams broadcast
alongside an interactive application. BSkyB promoted this service as the first of its kind, and
will be available both for Sky's interactive services and those from other broadcasters.

Other enhancements include new sorting options in the Sky+ EPG, online parental controls,
and customisable aspect ratios for second TVs and easier radio recording.


The launch of Sky+160 was preceded by the “soft launch” of a free digital satellite service
from Sky. This is being seen by many as an attempt to rival the success of Freeview, the
equivalent service for digital terrestrial TV and to pre-empt plans indicated by the BBC to
launch their own Freesat proposition with ITV.

“Freesat from Sky” was launched with little fanfare by BSkyB, as the company continues to
focus on pay-TV. Viewers can get a digital set-top box, satellite dish, with free installation
and a remote control in the one-off £150 deal.

The proposition includes 140 TV channels, 80 radio channels plus 13 interactive services.
Primary channels are not included in the mix but all BBC digital services and those of other
terrestrial channels are.

Viewers can also buy a Sky Plus without the need for a subscription to programme packages.
BSkyB charges £199 for this plus a further £120 for installation and £10 a month for

Channel 4 is struggling to contemplate joining the BBC and ITV as a result of commercial
need to maintain Film Four as a pay TV service. It recently renewed its carriage deal with
BSkyB and is committed to reside on Skydigital as is Channel 5

BSkyB and Barclaycard launch a Sky-branded interactive credit card

In addition to the above BSkyB has launched a Sky-branded interactive credit card in
partnership with Barclaycard.

In addition to working like other credit cards in shops and at cash machines the SkyCard will
be fully integrated with interactive television. Viewers will be able to insert the SkyCard in
their Sky box to manage their account securely. Shortly after the launch, users will be able to
make purchases through the television using their remote control. BSkyB will market the
unique loyalty and interactive features of the SkyCard to its direct-to-home customers across
the UK. For every eligible purchase made with the SkyCard, cardholders will earn SkyPoints
offering exclusive savings on Sky entertainment including the cost of a monthly Sky digital

5.3.4   Digital cable

Growth for cable remains pretty static, being constrained by merger discussions between NTL
and Telewest that hold back any major network development or other investment in new
subscriber growth

The total number of subscribers to cable television is now just over 3.3million, spread
between NTL, Telewest and others such as Isle of Wight Cable.

OFCOM’s latest statistics show that by 30 June 2005, the total number of UK cable
households was 3,301,614. NTL held 1,961,800 of these, while Telewest had 1,331,742, the
remainder subscribing to Wightcable.

Telewest showed a net increase of 11,255 subscribers in the quarter, with 39,880 digital
subscribers added. NTL saw an overall net increase of 1,800 TV subscribers, but increased its
digital subscriber base by 17,200.

The cable industry as a whole saw an overall increase in total TV subscribers of 13,352. The
number of digital cable subscribers increased by 2.25% on Q1 2005 with 57,306 homes

Cable operators launch video-on-demand

Both Telewest and NTL simultaneously launched video-on-demand services on 18 January
2005. The new services enable viewers to watch selected content when and how they want,
with DVD-style functionality provided through their remote controls.

The new services represent the cable networks’ initial attempt to take on Sky’s PVR product,
Sky+, and to diversify their offer in an increasingly competitive platform market. Telewest
targeted Sky+ again when they confirmed the launch of their own PVR receiver. The product
will be made by Scientific Atlanta.

The PVR comes with a substantial 160Gb hard drive, able to store around 80 hours of
programming, matching the latest Sky+ box. It will also support high-definition HDTV
signals for future use. It is equipped with both component analogue and HDMI digital outputs
for high definition, together with dual SCART, optical digital audio and an Ethernet port.

Outside of the new VOD launch, the cable operators are focusing more on developing their
telephony and broadband businesses.

Telewest to be fully digital by end of 2006

Telewest expects to be operating a fully digital television network by the end of 2006. The
company, which is due to merge with larger operator ntl later this year, indicates the transition
to a fully digital network will free up "significant amounts of bandwidth", allowing "extra
capacity for video-on-demand (VOD), high definition TV, broadband speed increases and
other services".

Telewest says it plans to continue its region-by-region VOD roll-out during the second half of
this year and complete the national roll-out by early 2006.

5.4       Marketing

Marketing activities will of course form part of the major communications strands for many
organisations in the DTV arena.

“Digital UK” (formerly Switchco) will pick up the tasks identified by the
DTI/DCMS/Industry DTV Project and related Action Plan. The working group set up last
October was officially launched on April 13th 2005. It is a not-for profit organisation funded
by the BBC, ITV, C4, Five, Teletext and S4C and Crown Castle who are all represented on
the management board, together with two manufacturer representatives. For the next seven
years “DigitalUK” will be in charge of the “development, coordination and implementation of
the switchover programme” in close coordination with DCMS, DTI and Ofcom

Central and Local Government departments should also continue to develop their activities in
the DTV arena but in a manner consistent with “Digital UK” moves, the last eGU framework
DiTV framework document and associated DTV Working Group Meetings.

There will be an increasing trend for companies from the PC and Internet arena to move into
the TV sector. This is being fuelled in part by the trend for TV manufacturers to move away
from Cathode Ray Tubes to LCD or Plasma displays as long used in the PC market. In
January 2004 Intel moved into the digital TV market with a low-cost, single-chip solution to
all the electronics and chip technology sets found in today's big screen TVs.

As a consequence of the factors above and increasing convergence between PC AND TV
sectors, much of the marketing work will need to be on coordinating efforts and using
commonly shared terminology rather than creating new activities alone.

5.4.1    Older Generation

Marketing to the older generation still remains an issue. Awareness of DTV has improved,
however being aware and comprehending the message is very different.

While some have heard of Freeview or Sky, many are unclear that the services each offer are
different. In addition such viewers may not recognize that coverage/reception issues may arise
or critically that if they fail to convert from analogue pre switchover, they will lose the use of
their current TV’s or VCR’s.

While marketing for DTV has already increased, it remains largely focused on younger
communities of viewers better placed to understand the messages being delivered.

Much more has to be done to market effectively to the older generation. This is particularly
pertinent when many of the older generation have higher disposable income than younger
people. A recent report on the UK's wealth levels published by the Future Foundation and
Inscape, indicates the 'grey pound' is becoming ever more powerful.

The grey pound generation currently constitutes half of the four million 'mass affluents' in the
UK. Buoyed by increasing levels of wealth, today's 55 to 65 year olds are enjoying the fruits
of windfalls from privatised utilities, lumps sums upon retirement and occupational pension
pay-outs, and look set to weather the current economic uncertainties better than other age
groups. This is in sharp contrast to a younger generation of 30 to 40 year olds who, concerned
about finances and the growing costs of an ageing population, are becoming more

Simplified marketing messages for OAPs delivered by a trusted spokesperson/celebrity or
representative body are being contemplated by those in and around Digital UK (e.g. such as
Alan Hart-Davies, Michael Aspel, Saga or Help the Aged.) These messages could be an
alternative to or an addition to some form of peer-to-peer marketing.

5.4.2    Immigrants/Ethnic Groups

The UK continues to have a large diverse cosmopolitan mix of inhabitants. Many of which
may be reluctant to take DTV and particularly DTT/cable solutions when content on these
platform serving their culture/language is very limited. This applies in particular to the older
generation unable to adopt UK / Western culture as readily as their offspring.

On September 12th 2005, the BBC published the most extensive maps of immigration to
Britain ever produced showing where people came from and where they have settled over the

At the 2001 census, the population of the UK was 58,789,194. The latest estimate, published a
week before the BBC’s “Born Abroad” was published, is 59.8m. The figures suggest that the
UK population will very soon top 60m, in line with predictions. Migration is an important
part of this population growth; as the BBC’s Born Abroad figures show, those coming from
abroad accounted for half of population growth between 1991 and 2001.

The Office for National Statistics estimates that net migration (i.e. those who coming from
abroad minus those who are leaving) accounted for two-thirds of population growth in the
year to summer 2004. According to the BBC Study 7.5% of people living in Britain were
born abroad.

There are significant levels of foreign ex pats in the UK, here either through work placement
or more recently as refugees. There are large bases of Italians located around Northants in
England and Glasgow in Scotland. UK offices for employers such as Nokia, BMW, Ericsson,
Renault often hold significant levels of Finns, Germans, Swedes and French employees who
reside in the UK.

Source: BBC

5.4.3    Scotland

According to the BBC’s “Born Abroad” study, 168,142 people born abroad were living in
Scotland at the time of the 2001 census, representing 3.3% of the population.

34% more foreign-born people were living in Scotland in 2001 than in 1991 – one of the
fastest rates of change. 8.93% of people in south-west Aberdeen are foreign-born –
predominantly oil industry workers.

The largest group in the Census is people born in Germany, probably because of the children
of military personnel born while stationed there. After Pakistan-born, the next largest group is
US-born. Edinburgh and Glasgow perhaps unsurprisingly have the largest numbers of people
born abroad – six areas across the two cities have more than the GB average.

BSkyB appears to recognize the potential for strong sales from foreign residents. It is
capitalizing on its greater channel capacity to offer compelling services. It continues to be
popular with the Asian community helped by many in this sector being younger and more

Those in the Asian community favouring more of a Free-to-view proposition may have been
compelled to move to Sky after BSkyB dropped subscription charges on key services. In
January 2004, Star Network and Sky agreed a deal for Asian channels Star News and Star
Plus to drop their subscription charges from1st March. Up until then the services were only
available for a £12 per month additional fee – both channels will be available free to all
viewers with the Family or Lifestyle packs. Additionally, Sky are now addressing other
Foreign nationals or indeed British born residents keen to extend their language skills or
knowledge of other countries/countries.

Bandwidth constraints on DTT continue to see it poorly placed to address the foreign
contingent in the UK. Services have developed somewhat with more foreign
films/programming being shown on BBC4 and other on such as UK History in accounts of
the last century’s two world wars. Radio services aimed at the Asian community and the BBC
World service continue to assist but all falls way short of the Sky digital portfolio.

Some foreign channels have been carried on cable linked to the local communities that cable
can address. However the varied mix of network architecture and services for UK cable
restricts the ability to promote nationally.

5.5      Content

This section refers generically to Interactivity. The issues highlighted refer equally to
enhanced TV (one way) based services as well as true (two way) alternatives built around a
return path – be it a fixed line or mobile telephony based solution.

5.5.1    Interactivity

As always content needs to be compelling to encourage take up of any service. This is equally
true for interactivity and explains why largely to date it is still not a key driver for DTV take-
up. Things are improving as broadcaster experience has developed over the last year or so and
key learnings have been made from citizen usage and feedback.

Interactivity is seen to add value and is a welcome addition to the TV environment but not a
“must have” service or huge innovation. Research in early 2002 showed just 3% of people
cited interactivity as main benefit of digital TV. This was half of the number reported in 2001.
However, time people spend in interactive services has gone up. Interactive TV lies
conceptually between teletext and the Internet – although the perception varies by viewer
type. Factors affecting the perception of interactive TV include familiarity with teletext, DTV
(especially EPGs) and the Internet.

According to research from the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB), viewers appear
keen to experiment with the interactive features of digital TV initially but this does not
necessarily extend into regular usage. Viewers can be alienated by broadcasters’
indiscriminate use of the button and broadcasters are learning to use it more sparingly. Many
viewers ignore the red button - rather like a channel logo.

Interactive services need to be presented simply and clearly. For instance, the issues that the
BBC faced when people made their screens go blank as a result of pressing the standby (also
red) key on their TV handset rather than on their STB have been well documented.

Interactive DTV adopters are fairly representative of the general population - but with a skew
towards families with children, young adults and men.

                                    Source: BRMB November 2004

The BBC has conducted a lot of research on viewers who interact with their programmes. One
of their main findings was that there is no such thing as a specialist iTV audience, but that the
viewers interacting with a certain programme have an exaggerated profile of the linear
audience of the programme. For example, the interactors of the Flower Show are older and
more female skewed than the programme audience. This shows that it is the really interested
people that are pressing the red button, not just the younger and more technically advanced

Another of the BBC’s main findings was that interactive content is very dependent on the
programme. Even if the enhanced content is a stand-alone service and accessible around the
clock, viewers usually do not just stumble across them but need the hook of the programme to
access it.

This shows that the interactive TV audience is tied to the TV schedule and enhanced services
do not work on an on-demand basis. Their experience showed that the best position for
promoting the interactive part of a programme is at the end, during the last 10 minutes of the

            Everyone will interact – but skew towards TV target – Source BBC/BARB
                                          November 2004

Interactive DTV is emerging as a primarily complementary medium for those who already
have web access at home. Almost no one with access to both would do their grocery shopping
or other transactions via the TV rather than the PC. Analysis suggests that interactive TV can
play a role in bringing people online - but only to a limited extent.

Usage of interactive TV services in digital TV households is characterised by short visits. It is
mostly as an alternative to uninteresting TV programmes and occasionally as an extension of
interesting ones. Around half of all interactive TV users say they use interactive services
when they cannot find a good programme to watch. Of these half use it during advertisement
breaks and the other half turn on the TV specifically to use Interactive services. When using
interactive services, about 50% do so for periods up to 10 minutes. The November 2004
BBC/BARB research revealed major spikes in interactive application usage at the end of
primary programmes appealing to many viewers.

The chart below shows when viewers were interacting with the Chelsea Flower Show that
was on air on a Tuesday from 8 to 9 pm. The peaks during the programme were just after the
presenter endorsed the enhanced service. It also shows that the highest number of viewers
interacting is just after the programme finished and then it tailed off over the next 2.5 hours.

Interactive programmes that work best are those that understand and anticipate viewers’ needs
and/or add to the viewing experience without distracting the viewer. Interactive services can
be applied to any type of programme as long as it is relevant to the content of the specific
programme. It is crucial to achieve a balance in the intensity of the experience: too difficult,
and the user becomes anxious; too simple, and boredom sets in. In short those programmes
with interactivity supporting the TV’s key entertainment role are the most successful.

According to research in April 2005 from BMRB, over 12 million digital viewers have now
pressed the interactive button.

 The BBC has been at the
 forefront, putting together a wide
 range of well-publicised enhanced
 TV programmes on all of its
 channels. Over 2004, the BBC
 produced 190 enhanced TV
 applications on the three digital
 (Satellite, Cable and DTT)
 platforms. Some of the enhanced
 programmes were used by well
 over 3 million viewers. The chart
 opposite reveals the most popular
 programmes to date and
 interactive user levels.

The 8.96 million people that viewed the 2004 Olympics Sky digital Interactive service
represented 58% of the audience. 83% stayed for more than 3 minutes, 61% were still
interacting 15 minutes later. More than half (51%) stayed with the application for over 25

One of the most high profile enhanced TV programme has been Channel 4’s Big Brother, also
shown on E4. In the final week of last year’s series, more than 6.3 million votes were cast
(including phone and mobile votes), bringing the total votes for Big Brother 5 to 14.8 million.

In 2004, Channel 4 has also created enhanced - TV services for The Salon, Without Prejudice
and Richard & Judy, allowing people to access more information and vote.

In January 2005, bosses behind last year’s X-Factor reality pop contest claimed the series was
the most successful interactive show of the year. The grand finale of the series, won by Steve
Brookstein was watched by fewer viewers than BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing.

But the success of the programmes interactive functions overjoyed the ITV bosses as a
massive 22 million votes were cast by text message and the on-screen red-button, including
8.5 million during the final episode. The show’s microsite on clinched a massive
500,000 unique users during the series, while a competition hosted by ITV to accompany the
series garnered 600,000 entries and became the most successful of the year for the
broadcaster. Jane Marshall, the interactive controller of ITV indicates that the interactive
elements and viewer participation were integral to the show’s success both as a format and
means of heightening viewers’ enjoyment and involvement.

5.5.2   Gaming & Gambling

Gaming remains as the most popular single interactive TV application, followed by entering a
quiz or competition. According to BMRB data in 2004, approximately 55% of the 9 million
UK households with interactive TV (return path based satellite and cable services) played
games regularly. Many of these paying significant amounts for the privilege.

BSkyB’s Sky Active twenty-four hour interactive services, particularly betting, contribute
significant revenue to Sky. In May 2005, BSkyB results revealed that SkyBet revenues rose
during the last quarter to reach £186 million for the last nine months, up 40% on the same
period in previous year. Gross margin rose to 10%, driven by the introduction of new fixed
odds games such as Roulette. With the recent passing of a new Gambling Bill, Sky says there
will be further opportunities from the end of the year.

Sky Active revenues fell 22% as a result of reductions in sales in the SkyBuy retail service
which had been “de-emphasised” as they were not particularly profitable. Other interactive
revenues rose 5% to £62 million over nine months, reflecting growth in interactive
advertising, games and third party betting and gaming.

Somewhat surprisingly, BARB data reveals about 50% of interactive TV game players are
women. 5 –15 year olds form a larger audience than the traditional computer games addicts of
16 to 25 year old males.

Interactive TV games are not as complex as console titles. This comes through their reliance
on the typically low-powered processing in a TV STB and standard telephone line to take
signals back to the broadcaster. Games available include quiz and fruit machine simulations
and recreations of classic arcade games such as Space Invaders and Asteroids. Solitaire has
proven to be as addictive to new interactive TV audiences as seen with office workers with
PCs in recent years.

Enhanced game shows can have a clear attraction to active viewers who may wish to play
along, although so far few quiz programmes have fully taken advantage of enhanced TV.
Discovery’s Mastermind and ITV’s Who Wants to Be A Millionaire were some of the first
enhanced programme’s broadcast in 2001 that allowed viewers to interact and play along. 3rd
May 2004 saw the BBC’s latest “Test the Nation – The National IQ Test” attract over 1
million viewers per show, its format remains the same since it started in 2002. Once again it
made use of their very simple but effective interactive application.

These allow Sky Digital and Digital Terrestrial viewers to participate in the show
simultaneously using their remote controls to answer each question using one of the four
corresponding colour keys on their remotes.

The simplicity of the application is a key factor in its success. Both the outward design and
functionality of the application might appear to be extremely basic, but a lot more is
happening ‘under the bonnet’ than might be expected. Most notably, unlike many interactive
play-along shows, this show is actually broadcast live. Correct synchronization of the
questions is absolutely key as viewers only have 25 seconds to answer each of them, and can
often make or change their answers in the last few seconds. After completing all 70 questions,
the interactive application automatically totals up the viewers’ correct answers and presents
them on screen including results for each question category. Viewers can as previously take
the test online via the web or simply calculating their own scores using a pen and paper.

Five years after the launch of DiTV problems can still arise. In the May 2005 series of the
BBC flagship quiz programme, Sky digital viewers of Test the Nation suffered problems.
Satellite viewers pressing the red button on their remote at the start of the programme in
response to the prompt to “Play Along” were told to “Please wait” and shown a blue screen.
After ten seconds, the set-top box timed out to show a caption: “There is a technical fault.
Please retry later.”

Anyone pressing the text button on their remote would have been able to access the
interactive menu, but after selecting the Test the Nation option would have seen a loading
screen for thirty seconds, followed by an error message saying “The BBC Interactive Service
is currently unavailable. Please try again later.” with an error code. The problem persisted for
at least four minutes, and arose because links were provided to an interactive application that
was not available, rather like receiving a 404 “Not Found” error message on a web site.

Broadcasters and their partners need to be aware of the risk that confusing citizens in this way
may well result in them turning away from interactive television.

New interactive gaming and quiz channels continue to be developed and launched. August
30th saw ITV announce it is to launch interactive games on Sky Digital. GTV is the name of
the upcoming pay-per-play interactive games service which the ITV network is launching on
the satellite platform in September. It will feature a number of quizzes, puzzles, pub and
arcade-style games based on various ITV programme brands, as well as non-ITV branded

Freeview and Cable platforms are also seeing new games based developments. Quiz Call is a
new channel from Channel 4 that launched earlier in August 2005. It broadcasts live daily
between 4pm and midnight on Freeview and NTL. Viewers are encouraged to participate by
telephone. Quiz Call is expected to launch at a later date on Sky Digital.

5.5.3   Email, the Web, and t-commerce

Research suggests that very few people prefer to access the Internet from their TVs.

From BMRB research of June 2003, TV commerce appears not to have taken off as was once
expected. Only about 10 per cent of Sky and cable viewers have ever bought anything via
digital TV. Of these, few have ever spent more than £100 over the past six months. Citizens
spend more on purchases through the Internet.

TV as a medium has traditionally been associated with entertainment and information, not
with communication and transactions (Henley 2001). The “lean back” attributes of TV versus
the “lean forward” ones for PCs have now been intensively reported over the last 2-3 years.

Some technical issues remain as barriers to take up. These include traditional TVs carrying an
interlaced based display, teamed with a lower resolution and reduced colour palette compared
with typical PC monitors. That being said, the growing trend of TV manufacturers moving
towards flat panel type products and adopting LCD or other more PC centric type displays
will do much to address the performance differences seen today.

The longer viewing distance (typically 8-12 feet away) associated with TV watching versus
the close to PC (1-2 feet away) experience is another key element impacting interest in
Internet based services over TV, particularly when many web pages are configured for PC
viewing with lots of small text sited close together.

The fundamental difference of TV service navigation to that of a PC is a significant factor for
limited interest. TV service navigation is typically made by a simple point and shoot remote
control and not a “QWERTY” type keyboard as with a PC. Some manufacturers have
launched combined handsets with fold down “qwerty” keyboards and operators have released
full size “qwerty” keyboards as an optional extra – neither have recorded much success. Sky
has the leading DTV operator in the UK has only sold a few tens of thousands of full sized
keyboards as the majority of the millions of subscribers prefer to use the standard remote

What is apparent is that the similarity between TV remote controls and mobile phones is a
significant positive element. Many users readily accept SMS like entry of characters when
compiling mail or other messaging services. Sky remotes already carry the standard “alpha”
capability (e.g. ABC on button 2) and the industry at large is now moving to adopt minimum
handset requirements to include alpha support. Another reason for the limited success of the
TV as a web access platform may be due to TV viewing sometimes being a secondary activity
(e.g. viewing while preparing or eating a meal).

Furthermore, TVs tend to be “shared viewing” devices – even if only on some occasions
when family and friends sit together. Conversely PCs are largely a “single user/viewer”
product. This difference has led to little interest in use of digital TV for personal finance /
commerce services as originally envisaged by many. The potential viewing by others of
personal data such as bank balances or PIN numbers causes many to stay using the PC
instead. This issue has been demonstrated in the June 2003 announcement of Abbey National
to cease it’s digital TV banking services. Of 1.6 million registered users of the Abbey's
Internet banking services very few, measured in low thousands ever used either DTV or
WAP-based banking.

In late 2003, BMRB looked further into the reasons for declining take-up of transactional
DiTV services. Rather than finding security issues to be a concern when purchasing via DTV
such as fear of credit card fraud or over personal data, they found that problems centred on
ease of use and reliability. Then a total of 63% either slightly or strongly disagreed that
interactive services were easy to use. More than half (51%) of users slightly or strongly
agreed that interactive services often did not work.

BMRB’s research also concluded that it is increasingly harder to attract viewers to uses stand
alone services such as email. It is becoming increasingly apparent that typically “sole user
oriented” or more “transactional” interactive applications do not fare well on DTV. In many
users’ minds the TV remains a shared viewing device continuing to deliver “lean back”
entertainment based services. Application developers will have to continue to think of more
entertainment based sharable applications that can be delivered to generate more demand for

In summary

Interactive services that work best on TV are those that do not directly compete with the
functions usually performed over the PC. Interactive elements today are still not acting as
primary drivers for DTV take up. No citizen is rushing out to buy DTV to access red key
services. The confusion already mentioned earlier in this paper, over what qualifies as an
interactive service compounded by lack of clear Marketing are not helping. Clearer distinction
on what each platform can offer needs to be built. As well as improving citizen awareness,
such could help producers /researchers make more effective analysis of real usage.

More often than not industry analysts or research companies have referred to interactive tv
usage without distinguishing what platform/operator or service is being used. BSkyB’s
current dominance has fuelled a tendency to test /measure Sky digital boxes/services alone.
This may change going forward as Freeview DTT continues to lead DTV growth, cable
services begin to differentiate more and IPTV based services emerge.

Some useful lessons have been made through measuring Sky’s services that could be moved
to other platforms subject to their inherent transmission, hardware and software differences.

As the digital TV market begins to mature, interest in finding new appealing services
intensifies. Many broadcasters and software developers are looking to enhanced and
interactive elements to produce such and research processes will hopefully address all levels
and platforms.

5.6           Standards

5.6.1         EU backs voluntary standards

The European Commission has reiterated its support for open and interoperable standards for
interactive television, but says implementation should not be made legally binding.

Member States should continue to promote open and interoperable standards for interactive
digital TV, including the Multimedia Home Platform or MHP standard, on a voluntary basis,
says the European Commission in a new communication on the interoperability of interactive
digital TV.

Proposals made by the Commission have included setting up a Member State group on MHP
implementation, confirming that Member States can offer citizen subsidies for interactive TV
receivers - subject to state aid rules - and monitoring access to proprietary digital interactive
TV applications.

“In view of the complexity of the technological and market environment, the very different
perceptions of interoperability held by market players, and the fact that interactive digital TV
has not yet taken off on a larger scale in many Member States, we felt that the digital
television market should continue to develop unhindered for the present” commented
Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Olli Rehn.

He went further to indicate that the Commission will revisit the issue at the end of 2005 in
order to see to what extent market developments have contributed to interoperability and
freedom of choice for users.

The Commission noted that there are over 32 million digital receivers in use in Europe1 , of
which at least 25 million have interactive capability. This market for interactive TV television
developed without a European API standard. Initially there were five significant APIs in
Europe; content or applications authored for one API could not be used by a receiver
containing a different API. Currently MHP is the only open standard for APIs adopted by EU
standards bodies.

5.6.2         Background

The European Commission had called for a public consultation on Interoperability of digital
interactive television services and received many contributions in response.

The MHP Alliance called for the Commission to make it a legal obligation for member states
to pick one open API most suitable for their national market from a future date no later than
2008, while recommending MHP for all new ‘greenfield’ markets.

    Number will have risen since but at 15.7m , the UK ‘s proportion of digital TV penetration is very high

The EBU argued that the Commission should ensure that from a given date only open
standard API systems should be used that is those recognised by a European standards body,
and that MHP should be recommended but not mandated for all new green field markets.

This view was largely echoed by ITV, the UK commercial television company, arguing that
the standardisation of existing proprietary APIs over time while recommending MHP for new
markets would provide a workable compromise that would not place a disproportionate
burden on the market.

The BBC submitted that open standards should be required after a certain date, adding that
mandating a single open standard is currently unnecessary and mandating MHP would present
the British market with daunting legacy problems.

BSkyB responded by observing that its WTVML browser, based on internet compatible
technology, had been submitted to ETSI and adopted as an open standard. The satellite
operator argued that any intervention by the Commission would be unwarranted and
detrimental. The response of OpenTV, who currently provide the middleware for BSkyB, was
not made public.

On behalf of the UK Government, the Department of Trade and Industry argued that any
move to mandate MHP would prejudice plans for digital switchover and that MHP should be
considered as one among a number of voluntary standards, including MHEG 5 and WTVML.

5.6.3    The Portable Content Format

An open standard defined by the DVB organisation, PCF is a tool being developed to enable
cross pollination of content between different platforms and devices.

With three different broadcast distribution systems to support - satellite, terrestrial and cable -
the BBC has been looking at cross-platform authoring technologies for five years. This work
is now feeding into the DVB-PCF or Portable Content Format initiative.

PCF is designed to enable the business-to-business interchange of high-level descriptions of
interactive services between different content providers and platform operators. Essentially,
PCF aims to provide a common language to enable the translation of certain types of
interactive service between different platforms.

A first version of the PCF specification is expected to be delivered towards the end of the

DTG Multi-platform Interoperability Group

This Group has been formed to draw together UK parties active in interactive television, and
to research the possibilities of integrated interactive television technologies.

It seeks to build on the independent thinking of the players already active within this sector. It
will gather data and intelligence on existing equipment, facilities, tools and resources in order
to devise an efficient and effective environment(s) in which to demonstrate interoperable pilot
systems using existing technologies.

Recognising the importance of the DVB-PCF work, the DTG group will maintain a close
liaison, proposing to provide input to DVB specification work which is influenced by
practical experience, and taking advantage of the window of opportunity before the technical
work of the DVB sub-group starts in earnest.

The following companies are represented on the Multi-platform Interoperability Group:

Telewest, Carlton TV, BSkyB, Channel 4, NTL, BBC, BT, Espial, Zetacast, Cabot, Philips and

The Group's chairman is Giles Godart-Brown of Liberate.

5.6.4   e-GIF

Alongside this industry led initiative there are others such as the Government led e-GIF
interoperability framework. The main thrust of it is to adopt the Internet and World Wide
Web specifications for all government systems.

There is a strategic decision to adopt XML and XSL as the core standard for data integration
and management of presentational data. This includes the definition and central provision of
XML schemas for use throughout the public sector.

The e-GIF also adopts specifications that are well supported in the market place. It is a
pragmatic strategy that aims to reduce cost and risk for government systems whilst aligning
them to the global Internet revolution.

Adherence to the e-GIF specifications and policies is mandatory. They set the underlying
infrastructure, freeing up public sector organisations so that they can concentrate on serving
the customer through building value added information and services. It will be for the
organisations themselves to consider how their business processes can be changed to be more
effective by taking advantage of the opportunities provided by increased interoperability.

Stipulating policies and specifications in themselves is not enough. Successful
implementation will mean the provision of support, best practice guidance, toolkits and
centrally agreed schemas. To provide this, the Government has launched the UK GovTalkTM
initiative. This is a Cabinet Office led, joint government and industry forum for generating
and agreeing XML schemas for use throughout the public sector.

5.6.5   Sky e-business development portal

Sky Interactive has developed a new interactive television portal that will enable website
operators to reach a potential audience of around 20 million users through the television set.
The aim for the portal is attracting a diverse range of web content providers including
established e-business operators, not-for-profit organisations and even individuals.

The development of the new portal reflects the growing trend for website owners to deliver
content to multiple devices and for citizens to access electronic services on a variety of
different platforms. With approximately 10 million viewers accessing Sky’s existing
interactive services each month, Sky believes that the new portal will represent a significant
new opportunity for website owners interested in service delivery to non-PC devices.

The new initiative complements the focused entertainment, gaming and communications
services available on the existing Sky Active portal by creating an inexpensive TV
distribution channel for a wider range of web content. With the launch of the new portal, Sky
aims to broaden the range of services available on its platform and to stimulate further
innovation in the interactive TV arena.

Available without subscription to all digital satellite viewers in the UK and Ireland, the easy-
to-use portal will provide access to a range of internet services that have been adapted
especially for television. Services will be accessed using conventional URLs or via the
portal’s listings pages and online search engine.

In addition, personalisation features will enable viewers to save their favourite links and
access a history of services visited previously. Each person in a household will be able to
create an individual profile where he or she can enter personal information to facilitate online
transactions, using features such as auto-complete and auto-logon.

For website operators, the new portal will make it easier than ever before to launch an
interactive TV service. Registration, testing and validation services will be available online at and website operators will be able to adapt their services using the
WTVML technology that was developed by Sky and subsequently made available as a public

There will be no up-front charge to register and launch a site to the new portal and website
operators will be able to choose from a range of optional marketing features to promote their
content to Sky viewers. These will include the ability to register a ‘shortcode’, called a
SkyKey that will allow viewers to jump directly to their site from the portal’s home page.

The last five years have seen parallel growth of the use of the Internet and the deployment of
Digital TV devices in people’s homes. Both Digital TV and the Internet are now used
regularly and have become equally important in many individual’s “digital” lives. Early
attempts at deploying Internet sites unchanged on the Television failed to recognise that web
sites must be tailored to the device in order to deliver an acceptable user experience. Access to
Internet services is becoming ubiquitous. Modern web sites have become able to recognise the
type of device accessing them and many now have variants designed for PDA’s, mobile
phones, kiosks and even Media Centre PCs.

With 45% of UK homes still not having Internet connected PCs and demand for mobile and
kiosk style services increasing, web site operators are looking to expand their audiences and
provide their services to current customers though any convenient device. To facilitate this,
many modern web infrastructures use a layered technical model, with content being
independently managed from the presentation layer of the site.

Sky has recognised these changes in the industry with the growth of the e-business
marketplace and has developed a new e-business Portal now launched as a beta version on the
Sky platform. The Portal has the capability to bridge the gap between popular Internet
Services and Interactive TV. The new Portal and its associated control interface for web site
owners (Site Control) allow the majority of web site operators to easily register, test and
launch a tailored Interactive TV version of their site to Sky customers. Inclusion in the Portal
is free to web site operators, and it is therefore anticipated that many thousands of sites will
convert over time.

While many non-PC devices do not interoperate, and support fragmented audiences and
technology standards, the Sky digital network of devices represent a single addressable
audience of over 7.7 million UK homes and over 20 million individuals. It therefore
represents the largest single non-PC audience available to web site operators in the UK.

In 2004, Sky published through ETSI the specification of WTVML (Worldwide TV Markup
Language). Designed to be a “Common Content Format” for multiple device types, it has its
origins in the original WML 1.3 standards, but has evolved into a rich and efficient, standards
based language to develop sophisticated interactive services for TVs, kiosks and other similar
sub-PC devices. As a result, Sky’s new e-business Portal is based on standard internet
technologies and provides the simplest and least expensive iDTV publishing model yet seen
for interactive television.

Encouraging a proliferation of services is one thing, but helping customers find relevant
services is the key to creating a vibrant ecosystem of interactive services. Sky’s new e-
business portal leaves the old-style hierarchical service menus behind, and introduces the first
internet style search facility for iDTV. Users can also find relevant services through a genre
classification system. Once a service has been found, users can bookmark it in their
personalised favourite’s lists.

Another first is the SkyKey concept, where site owners can register an easy to remember
numeric key – that usually will correspond to the site name – and promote it through their
own communications, just as they currently include a website URL in all collateral.

The SkyKey allows Sky’s new e-business portal users to link directly to the site, without
needing to search or navigate through a menu structure.

The new portal is not an attempt to recreate the World Wide Web experience on TV. Sky
believes that access to the web is best achieved using a PC. However it is a dedicated iDTV
proposition that is designed to bring some of the value propositions of the Internet to new
audiences or existing audiences in a new and sometimes more convenient format

5.6.6    MHP

Across Europe, interactive services using the DVB Multimedia Home Platform standard have
been launched on the cable, satellite and terrestrial platforms.

While not formally mandated by the European Commission, MHP has been embraced as an
open and interoperable standard that can be actively encouraged and promoted. Already,
several countries have launched MHP-based interactive services on the terrestrial platform.

MHP is not the only interactive television service system in the market. Proprietary systems
such as MediaHighway and OpenTV have been installed in a large number of set-top boxes,
often for cable and satellite platforms. In the United Kingdom, MHEG also an open standard
is widely used on the terrestrial platform. The UK remains the leading DTV market in the
world and has now secured over 15 million digital homes.

This legacy base and little real evidence of improved interactive content via MHP have seen
the country dismiss the technology currently. There is little appetite in UK Government and
industry to pull back the base of deployed Sky receivers at least.

Freeview products utilise MHEG, which carry much of the base technology stacks that MHP
is founded on. As such there is more of an inherent upgrade path between the two. However
in addition to offering no real improved performance to MHEG, MHP technology continues
to be more expensive and is still not as stable. Accordingly the UK industry has no plans to
migrate to MHP but watches its development with interest.

As a result of the various products and services in the market, the DVB Project has been
working on the development of the Portable Content Format (PCF) to deliver a wide range of
interactive television services to multiple platforms with a minimum of re-authoring. It has
significant interest for operators who wish to migrate towards MHP by allowing them to
manage simultaneously a mixed population of devices.

As MHP-based interactive services are launched throughout Europe, will they encourage the
uptake of digital television services? Country case-studies demonstrate that the strategy
adopted for the launch of interactive services does impact the roll-out in the market.

Two different types of launch strategies can be used for the free-to-air DTT platform;

In a first strategy, national governments focus on the roll-out of digital terrestrial services
using simple (zapper) set-top boxes that converts the digital signal for reception on an
analogue television set. This strategy encourages the uptake of DTT services by promoting
the purchase of a relatively inexpensive zapper set-top box in order for viewers to access an
increase in the number of television programme services. Once the DTT services are accepted
by the general population, broadcasters can launch interactive services in a second step.
However, this strategy results in a large quantity of zapper boxes in viewer households that
will need to be converted in order to access interactive services.

In a second strategy, interactive services are an integral part of the initial launch of DTT
services and viewers are educated to understand that television can provide a wide range of
new services. DTT is no longer a simple translation of a previously existing television
services but rather a new television experience. However, this strategy requires a greater
financial investment given the higher cost of an MHP-enabled set-top box when compared
with zapper set-top box.

Generally, countries have tended mix the two strategies. Viewers have benefited from both an
increase in the number of television service programmes available as well as interactive
television services. Yet, this combination has not always allowed for an impressive take-off of
MHP based interactive services. In the case of Finland, citizens could choose between a
zapper set-top box that allows them to access more television service programmes or an
MHP-enabled set-top box that allows them to access both the increased number of television
services programmes as well as the interactive services. However, MHP-enabled set-top
boxes make up only 5% of all set-top boxes currently purchased.

So as to encourage viewers to buy MHP-enabled set-top boxes, the Italian government has
provided households with a subsidy towards the purchase of their interactive set-top boxes.
While this subsidy can be used for any open platform interactive boxes, such as those used to
receive TV via fibre optic broadband services, it has encouraged the purchase of MHP-
enabled set-top boxes.

It is estimated that 1.5 million MHP-enabled set-top boxes have already been purchased since
February 2004. In addition, the decrease in subsidy from 150 Euro in 2004 to 70 Euro in 2005
reflects the drop in price for MHP-enabled set-top boxes following their massive uptake.

The consumption of MHP-enabled set-top boxes is reported to have kick started the
economies of scale for their manufacture. The marginal cost difference for an MHP-enabled
set-top box and a zapper set-top box is now much reduced. By adopting this strategy, the
Italian government has successfully prevented its market from being flooded with simple
zapper set-top boxes.

It has been assumed that many citizens will invariably prefer the cheaper zapper set-top box to
a more expensive MHP-enabled set-top box. However, this reasoning disregards the type of
interactive services offered. For example, should viewers find interactive services compelling
and easy to use, they may be willing to spend the extra money necessary for an interactive set-
top box. Thus, it would seem that citizen education is key to the successful roll-out of
interactive services.

Much will depend on the role and importance attributed to interactive services. Should
governments wish to promote t-government services, it is necessary to encourage households
to purchase an interactive set-top box. Broadcasters may use interactive services as a means to
increase their revenue and as a result invest funds in the development of appealing content.
The priorities of content developers, broadcasters and governments will impact the successful
roll-out of interactive services and likely lead to variations between markets.

5.6.7     Interoperability

As operators continue to trade on their individual unique selling propositions, all are building
substantial and sustainable independent customer bases.

Sky digital remains as the leading digital broadcast service today. Freeview DTT take-up is
expanding rapidly with some such as Zenith Media forecasting it to overtake the former by
the end of 2007. Cable TV remains relatively strong too, assisted by strong broadband take
up, and telephony.

In many cases however, content is provided to all by the same broadcasters or application
writers but still in different formats based on current middleware variants Open TV, MHEG-5
and Liberate. The majority would clearly welcome common interoperable standards to be
deployed that could allow them to “create once” and deliver to all platforms more efficiently.

At last, some positive steps seem to be occurring in this area possibly as a result of EU
rumblings on common standards. The foremost initiative is the Portable Content Format.

5.6.8     International


A number of MHP services are available from the main TV channels in two countrywide
multiplexes on the terrestrial network and also on cable networks. The MHP services of YLE,

the public broadcaster, have also been available on satellite since the beginning of 2005.
Common services to all channels are digital teletext, channel portal and a 7-day EPG. YLE
and MTV3 have also developed channel and programme specific applications such as
enhanced TV, t-commerce, gaming, etc. Regional MHP services are available in some cities:
Tampere and Helsinki each have an MHP portal providing a range of local information –
more information from the City of Tampere website.

All major cable operators will launch a full range of commercial MHP services in the fourth
quarter of this year. There are currently around 50,000 MHP boxes in Finnish homes. This
number is expected to grow rapidly with the introduction of PVR and/or broadband-IP
enabled MHP products, available from at least one vendor before the end of 2005.

The Nordic satellite operator, Canal Digital, is committed to following other Nordic
broadcasters in supporting MHP and is ready to launch MHP services following pilots in

Public service broadcasters have been very active in establishing the Nordic Migration Plan to
ensure the introduction of MHP-based interactive services. The launch of DTT services in
Denmark and Norway will likely include interactive services. Denmark is expected to launch
its DTT services in July 2005 while Norway may launch its services in 2006. In Sweden,
interactive services were initially implemented using the proprietary system, OpenTV.
However, the migration towards MHP-based services is underway and the public broadcaster
SVT launched an MHP based digital teletext service in March 2004.


Germany has been a continued supporter of the roll-out of MHP-based interactive television
services, especially on the satellite platform. MHP data services have been launched on the
terrestrial television platform.


In Austria a DTT trial with MHP-based interactive services provided 150 households in Graz
with access to an interactive television service called TV4 using the telephone connection for
the return channel. Using their television remote control, viewers could retrieve information
services and vote. Given the success of the trial, it is likely that MHP-based interactive
services will be launched alongside DTT services.


In Hungary, MHP-based interactive services are available in the DTT trials conducted by
Antenna Hungaria. The services are information based and include digital teletext and an


At the start of September 2004, free-to-air broadcasters in Australia indicated that, as a
minimum, set-top boxes for the Australian market should be manufactured to the MHP 1.0.2

ABC Television is broadcasting three MHP applications – Mini launcher, EPG and Election
2004 – nationwide.It is hoped that MHP boxes will be available in the retail market by the end
of 2005. Up to now tests have been done using mainly European IRDs.

ABC also developed two Independent TV applications to accompany national election
coverage in 2004 – one offering news updates in the final week of the campaign, and the
second allowing viewers to keep up with the news and the count after the polls closed. While
the number of viewers was small, this was an important political and technical trial and the
service is still on air as a demonstration application


In February 2002, the Ministry of Science and Technology in Spain sponsored an agreement
for the promotion and implementation of interactive services based on the MHP standard
signed by leading manufacturers and broadcasters. Currently MHP services are available in
Catalonia, Madrid and the Basque region and are expected to be launched in Galicia. In
Catalonia, the Miromercats pilot supplied 100 homes with advanced MHP applications and
provided a return channel via the telephone line.


The turning point for MHP has been in Italy where interactive content has been a cornerstone
of the launch of DTT services. Broadcasters have provided a wide range of MHP-based
interactive services such as digital teletext, news information, weather forecasts, audience
polling and an EPG. Furthermore, the government seeks to develop “t-government” services
in an aim to help bridge the digital divide. Government subsidies are available to encourage
households to purchase interactive set-top boxes.

5.6.9   TV Anytime

Formed in 1999, the TV-Anytime Forum’s remit was to develop open specifications for
interoperable and integrated systems that will allow consumer electronics manufacturers,
content creators, telecommunications companies, broadcasters and other service providers to
most effectively utilize high-volume digital storage in consumer devices. The group invited
international participation from all interested organizations and held meetings in Europe, the
Americas and Asia Pacific to ensure the specifications had a truly international relevance.

On July 28th 2005, the organisation announced it had completed its Personal Video Recorder
(PVR) specifications and has now moved into implementing them through the launch of user
groups. The TV-Anytime Forum’s (TVAF) specifications will enable revolutionary new ways
for the public to access audio visual programming, preparing the ground for a new generation
of consumer devices.

The release of its final, second phase specifications to ETSI, adds significant new
functionality to the phase one work published by ETSI in 2003. It also marks an important
step change in how content providers and advertisers can now attract the attention of
consumers in an increasingly diverse media world.

Next for the TV-Anytime Forum is implementation of its work and it has now launched
regional Developers and Users’ Groups to help move the industry into this next roll-out

The TV-Anytime specifications now offer all sectors of the industry the tools that will allow
consumers to search for, find, select and enjoy the widest possible range of content, from the
broadcast, VOD, mobile and IPTV world. These specifications will help in creating a flow of
rich metadata from content providers and advertisers, to broadcasters and service providers,
and then ultimately to consumers, making the television viewing experience both simpler and

TV-Anytime’s main purpose was to provide the industry with open, standard tools that allow
interoperability across the entire range of consumer devices. With the release of the phase two
specifications they have addressed the needs of advertisers too, as well as many non-linear

A group of developers and implementers will now meet with the Forum in Geneva to agree
how TV-Anytime can move from the development phase to the implementation and roll out
phase. More groups will be meeting regionally to assist implementers.

6        Future Developments
The Scottish Executive may wish to develop their current DiTV plans or consider alternative
means for electronic service delivery. Section 6 looks at the most significant technologies that
are emerging and may provide compelling ways forward.

6.1      Key Emerging Platforms

There are three primary new platforms for the broadcast / TV sector emerging:

         •    High Definition TV (HDTV)

         •    Mobile TV

         •    IPTV

6.2      HDTV

Momentum for HDTV is now building. Broadcasters have announced definite deployment
plans and the consumer electronics industry is a-buzz over this new market. HDTV is already
being broadcast in the US, Australia, Japan, Canada and South Korea.

Some observers said that HDTV would never come to the European market, but this year it
will arrive. Some television sets are starting to appear on the high street, carrying a label
declaring that they are “HD ready”

Sky in the UK and M6, TPS and TF1 in France have all recently announced plans to offer HD
content to viewers - TPS should launch services in 2005 and Sky with an unspecified number
of HD broadcasts in 2006. The French terrestrial channels had asked the French government
to permit HDTV on the digital terrestrial television network that will launch next year -
although that request has been rejected. The BBC has plans to produce all of its content in HD
by 2010.

The BBC is already producing some content in high definition - a recent example was "The
Grid" mini-series, which was a co-production between TNT in the US and the BBC in the
UK. It was filmed in a high definition format, and aired in high definition in the USA.
Content is ready and available, both from the BBC and other broadcasters around the world.

4.6 million high-definition TV (HDTV) households in Europe by 2008

New Datamonitor research forecasts that there will be 4.6 million high-definition TV (HDTV)
households in Europe by 2008, up from 50,000 at the end of 2003. Datamonitor expects
Germany, the UK and France to lead the adoption of HDTV, with Italy a distant fourth. In the

beginning high prices will hinder sales but those who do buy will be in the top-tier of the
ABC1 advertising super-group, with large disposable incomes.

Greg Dyke, the BBC’s former director-general, has described how he became an ardent
supporter of HDTV during a visit to Japan: “In day-to-day use, I was overwhelmed by how
good it was. Sport, arts, drama and even news all take on a new dimension.”

Standard definition broadcasts are currently available in the UK both on analogue television
and the digital platforms. The UK's current TV standard is 576i50 - "576" meaning a 625 line
picture, with 576 lines actually displayed, and "i50" meaning an interlaced picture refreshed
fifty times per second. "Interlaced" refers to the picture being drawn in two halves - half the
picture is drawn with every refresh, resulting in a complete frame being drawn 25 times per
second. The practice came about because early TV tubes were incapable of drawing the whole
picture before the top of it began to fade, resulting in a picture with uneven brightness and

The European Broadcasting Union's preferred HDTV format is 720p50. This means 720 lines
progressively scanned, refreshed fifty times per second. Interlacing is done away with
completely - instead, the entire picture is built fifty times per second. The increased resolution
results in a much sharper and more detailed picture - hence, "high definition."

For viewers, HD will require two pieces of kit: an HD-compatible screen as many of the new
LCD and Plasma models claim to be plus an HD set top box. Sky has already contracted
Thomson to make their HD set top box ready for 2006. The HD television /screen should
have an HDMI input as only HDMI inputs will power true HDTV, certainly for Sky, and
probably for the rest when they come along.

            HD Ready Logo to be found on all HDTV compatible products   HDMI Connector

6.2.1    Sky plans to launch HDTV in 2006

BSkyB has appointed Thomson as the
initial manufacturer of the set-top box
for its forthcoming high-definition
television service, and it will include a
personal video recorder (PVR) as

Sky has placed an order with Thomson for the high-definition boxes, although terms and
volumes have not been disclosed. It has been confirmed, however, that the box will be
MPEG-4 compatible and will handle both 720p and 1080i frame formats.

Speaking at the DVB World conference in Dublin, BSkyB’s chief operating officer, Richard
Freudenstein, revealed for the first time that Sky’s HDTV box will feature a personal video

recorder capability similar to the existing Sky+ box, although this will still require a Sky+
subscription. Mr Freudenstein indicated then that offering PVR capability as a standard in the
HDTV arena will ensure that sky customers can continue to enjoy Sky+ benefits in
association with our highest-quality programming.”

The news that Thomson will be the initial provider of the high-definition set-top box will no
doubt be disappointing to Pace Micro Technology. The UK company has signed a deal to
deliver MPEG-4 set-top boxes to Premiere in Germany, enabling the operator to be among the
first to deliver high-definition services.

Freudenstein has confirmed that BSkyB is on track to launch HDTV in 2006, and says the
step change in picture quality would help BSkyB to achieve its target of 10 million customers
in 2010. Sky’s HDTV service is expected to launch around the FIFA World Cup in 2006 and
the offer of compelling football programming.

BSkyB see current strong growth in sales of flat-screen television sets as an indicator of rising
consumer demand for a high-quality viewing experience in the home. BSkyB expects that
sales of “HD Ready” TV sets will accelerate as equipment prices continue to fall and the
availability of HDTV programming grows.

Although BSkyB’s HDTV box can be connected to any kind of TV set, customers will require
an “HD Ready” TV set to enjoy the full benefits of HDTV picture quality. BSkyB estimates
that almost two million such sets will have been sold in the UK by the end of 2006.

The HDTV receiver will carry two USB interfaces and an Ethernet connector enabling
broadband connectivity and potential for connecting to other peripherals.

6.2.2    Summary

HDTV’s core benefit is a significant improved picture – particularly noticeable on crowd
scenes, orchestras etc and importantly only on extra large TVs 30”+with advanced resolution.
Today Government services are largely text based - so there is no real benefit of using HDTV.
The question has to be how many Government services need or could benefit from extra
resolution on really expensive large screens?

Such televisions are expensive today, typically over £1000 - way out of the reach of most
citizens and significantly the older and poorer groups who use government services most.
Most in these groups reside in smaller homes, flats, sheltered accommodation and even if they
had the money would not be able to site the set easily if at all. On top of this if Government
wanted to generate HDTV applications they would need to seek access to expensive and
restricted bandwidth. An HDTV application typically requires four or more times space than
normal TV, this is why Sky has had to rent space on a new Astra satellite to deliver the
service. Freeview (as the preferred solution for the heaviest users of government services has
no potential for HDTV until switchover at least 2012 it is most likely will focus on core
revenue generating services and not Govt based alternatives).

6.3     Mobile TV

TV being delivered commercially over mobile phones is forecast by many to happen by the
end of 2005. Strategy Analytics estimate that mobile broadcast networks will have acquired
around 51 million users worldwide by 2009, producing around $6.6bn (£3.5bn) in revenue.

Mobile TV is already recognised by many stakeholders as one of three primary areas for
development alongside HDTV and IPTV. Many countries have initiated tests or soft launched
various technologies built on either sole (mobile telecoms) or dual network (mobile telecoms
and broadcast) infrastructures.

In the UK a number of significant mobile television trials and pilots have commenced. These
include the 3G based offerings from such as Orange on Nokia mobile phones and the recent
Vodafone and Sky-Sports Gillette Soccer Saturday service announced on the 12th August.
Combined network propositions are being explored such as the BT Lifetime DAB based pilot
with Virgin Mobile and the DVB-H trial by Nokia, NTL and O2 in Oxford.

Each offers the user “TV on the move” through a handheld device as do other potential
solutions that combine broadband, Wimax or Wifi with handheld storage devices.

Significant consumer demand and business cases for any of these technologies are yet to be
proven. Indeed recent reports advise that consumers are confused by and rejecting
complicated multifunction devices.

Korea is clearly at the forefront of the mobile television sector with commercial services
already in place those there can play an important role in informing their UK counterparts of
compelling technical and consumer based factors.

6.3.1   TU Media Launched the World’s first Commercial DMB service

The first commercial satellite based DMB service launched by TU Media on May 1st this year
is being watched with interest. With reports of 20,000 subscribers 2 weeks after launch and
over 100,000 signed up in less than three months, consumer demand appears to be on track to
reach the targeted 600,000 customers this year helped by a growing range of handsets from
Samsung, LG and others.

6.3.2   BT Livetime/ Virgin Mobile DMB trial

On the 2nd June 2005 Virgin Mobile announced a partnership with BT Livetime in order to
offer Virgin Mobile's customers a live digital television service, broadcast straight to their
phones. The service gives Virgin Mobile's customers access to live digital TV 24-hours a day.
It also features the UK's first mobile Electronic Programme Guide (EPG); Ultimately, Virgin
Mobile TV will also let customers record their favourite programmes to watch later on their

Virgin Mobile and network partner BT Livetime are piloting the service for 4 months in the
M25 region commencing from June 2005. The TV service will be broadcast over the DAB
digital radio network. Initially, the pilot will provide selected Virgin Mobile customers with
access to Sky Sports News, Sky News and Blaze, a new music channel designed specifically

for mobile television, and to more than 50 digital radio channels. Alongside BT Livetime,
other key partners for the pilot are Microsoft, Sky, Arqiva (formerly NTL Broadcast), HTC,
GCap Media and its subsidiary Digital One.

BT Wholesale is the first company outside Korea to implement mobile TV using DAB, by
Windows smartphone, or portable media player, to watch the channels. The DAB technology
approach adopted by BT Livetime represents the quickest and most cost-effective method of
delivering a mobile broadcast TV service - based on spectrum availability, existing
transmission infrastructure, device power consumption, suitability for use in a mobile (high
speed) environment, and ease of integration into mobile phones.

6.3.3    Dual Platform: O² / Arquiva /Nokia DVB-H trial

Taking place in Oxford, this trial is a proof of concept effort for multi-channel mobile pay-TV
services. UK mobile operator O² and Arquiva – formerly NTL Broadcast will be offering a
line up of channels including Cartoon Network, CNN, Discovery Channel, Sky Sports News
and Sky Travel. These will be offered to 350 O² customers from early September who will
each have been provided a Nokia 7710 handset.

The 6 month trial began performance testing in July prior to roll-out to trial customers early in
September 2005. Designed to test and showcase the tele-visual capabilities of the next
generation of mobile phones, the trial will look at how people choose to catch up on their
favourite TV shows, watch the latest music videos and keep up to date with the news and
sport when on the move.

The trial will use the DVB-H broadcast transmission standard, designed for handheld
reception. The standard offers low battery power consumption and strong reception. To
enable a commercial service to be launched in the UK, Ofcom will need to license spectrum.

NTL Broadcast is currently building a new broadcast network of eight DVB-H transmitters,
using existing structures, to cover 120 square km centred on Oxford that will enable the
participants to receive digital television on the move. Triallists selected by O² will be between
18 and 45 years of age, and spend the majority of their day (i.e. live, work or study) in
Oxford. Initially, handsets will be provided to all 350 triallists by Nokia - the new 7710
which, for the purposes of the trial, will come with a special DVB-H receiver. Other
participating companies include BSkyB, Discovery, Harris and Turner.

6.3.4    WiFi, WIMAX & Portable Storage Devices

Other means of mobile television are emerging through the major developments in wireless
networks, broadband speed and hand held storage devices. These are well placed to offer
consumers compelling alternatives to DVB-H / DMB.

Such alternatives may appeal more to heavy Internet users and business people with handheld
PDA’s, laptops and other personal storage devices – especially those travelling regularly on
public transport. They can take advantage of the growing trend for wireless network provision
by railway and airline operators and capitalize on the larger screens their business tools

London Underground (LU) is planning to install technology that will give commuters mobile
phone coverage in the concourse, ticketing areas and platforms of underground Tube stations
– but not on trains rumbling through underground tunnels. LU will be talking with suppliers
shortly and aims to trial the technology at one underground station in 2006 with a view to
extending it across all tube stations by 2008.

Brighton was the first UK city to launch a fully developed and operational wireless broadband
service using next-generation WiMAX technology. The Brighton Metranet is one of the first
Europe’s wireless metropolitan area networks based on the emerging WiMAX standard The
Metranet is a massive wireless broadband infrastructure that covers around 90 per cent of the
city, providing high-speed Internet access to students and schools in the area. The venture is
the result of a technical collaboration between Brighton and Hove City Council, the
University of Sussex and local company Metranet Communications.

T-Mobile has offered a free WiFi pilot service on Southern Rail’s busy London-to-Brighton
train service in readiness for a full launch in June 2005. The Brighton Express has four
million regular commuters and the service is planned for 14 trains supplied signals by 60
WiFi base stations along the route.

French manufacturer Archos has taken the portable media storage to new heights. Their new
AV700 device offers a 7” 16:9 screen and comes with a 40Gb or 100Gb hard drive.
Furthermore it supports MPEG-4, DivX, and WMV with DRM support, and USB 2.0 On-
The-Go, which will enable a number of possible peripherals to be connected. In April 2005,
Sony launched a new 2OGB portable storage device and aims to capitalize on the strength of
its “Walkman” brand – the first mainstream portable storage device ever. Their new Network
Walkman – NW-HD5 is both smaller and lighter than its equivalent iPod, weighing in at just

Hard drives for mobiles and other portable gadgets could store up to a terabyte of data in the
next few years, using a century-old recording process - “perpendicular recording” Hitachi has
said it can fit 230 gigabits of data per square inch on a disk using this method. Equally one-
inch hard drives could move from holding 10Gb currently to as much as 60Gb. The company
plans to start using perpendicular recording in the next generation of products from 2007.

The various fixed wireless solutions referred to above have enormous potential to converge
with various IPTV developments that are now beginning to happen here and abroad.

6.3.5    Do Citizens want Mobile TV?

To date there is little evidence of UK citizens being aware of mobile television or actively
seeking it. The various trials currently planned or under way will provide useful demand
indicators and address findings from recent reports that people don’t want more complicated
mobile devices. A survey from Netonomy showed that only 4% of those questioned said they
were considering swapping their existing mobile for a new 3G handset. The citizens asked said that
the bewildering number of features on 3G handsets was putting them off.

The survey also showed that consumers may resist swapping their existing phone for a 3G one
because of widespread confusion about the bewildering number of ways to pay for phones and the
vast array of features most have onboard. Talking at a May Microsoft Research conference in
Cambridge, Consultant Scott Jensen indicated that the industry should be coming up with more

innovative ways to get at these functions in ways that understand the kinds of experiences
people want.

Mr. Jenson works with the biggest names in the mobile industry to come up with ways of
doing this. A former director of Symbian’s Design Lab, published author, leader of numerous
mobile design projects, and early interface pioneer, he is well qualified. He highlighted a
primary issue with combination mobile phones in lost power as batteries being ran down to
listen to music, play games, or watch video prevents the core telephone call functionality.

Vodafone appear to be heeding the need for simple, basic devices. Anticipating a growing
backlash from consumers befuddled by the myriad features on phones, the world's largest
mobile company has launched a range of handsets aimed at those who simply want to make

After spending the last 15 years concentrating on delivering ever smaller, lighter phones with
more and more add-ons such as digital cameras, video calling, music players, internet access
and colour screens, Vodafone is planning to go back to basics. Their new product range,
called “Vodafone Simply” features the bare minimum of buttons, doing little beyond making
calls and sending text messages. The company is launching the range across several countries,
aiming at an older market that has not been persuaded to upgrade their phones by the craze for
ring tones, wallpapers and games.

Issues with available screen size for watching TV on mobile devices has been reported on
various occasions. Nokia has taken the step on its 7710 DVB-H model to remove the standard
number keypad to derive a larger viewing area. However, the resulting need for adopting a
pen and accessing an onscreen keypad has not been well received by many users – to include
the more technical. Basic problems occur when losing the keyboard display to access the
phone book etc.

6.4     IPTV

IPTV, or the distribution of a television service over broadband access lines, will take a turn
towards full commercial deployment in 2005.

The 2004 launch of services such as Maligne TV and CanalSat DSL in France, FastWeb in
Italy, and the announced 2005 TV-over-DSL launch by BellSouth, SBC and Verizon in the
United States and Homechoice in the UK have propelled this new technology onto the front
page of industry attention.

6.4.1   Global IPTV subscribers to pass the 20 million mark around 2010

A new study, "The Business of IPTV: Global Analysis & Forecasts," from TDG Research,
suggests that the majority of global IPTV growth will be fuelled by hybrid deployments that
combine digital satellite or terrestrial TV services with IP-based TelcoTV offerings.

The study indicates that Worldwide IPTV subscribers will pass the 20 million mark around
2010, a volume dominated by hybrid architectures deployments as opposed to stand-alone
TelcoTV, VoDSL solutions.

Other Analysts and experts, from telecommunications companies to communications
watchdog Ofcom, predict that it is the future of TV.

6.4.2    4.5 million Homes in Europe to have net TV services by 2008.

It is estimated that 4.5 million homes in Europe will have net TV services by 2008.
Broadband connection speeds, capacity, and the number of subscribers, are climbing rapidly.
Coupled with that, better video compression technology allows standard- and high-definition
video to be delivered using broadband technologies.

Strategy Analytics reports that the success of digital terrestrial and IPTV broadband television
services is shaking up the established digital television market.

Satellite remains the leading digital television platform in Europe, but recent growth has been
modest, adding 2.1 million homes during 2004 to reach a total of 25 million homes, although
this is predicted to double to 49.1 million by 2010.

Digital terrestrial television, driven by the Freeview in the UK and free-to-air broadcasters in
Germany, added 4.4 million European homes during 2004, taking the total to 8.1 million.
That number is predicted to rise to 42.2 million by the end of the decade.

IPTV providers, such as Free in France and Fastweb in Italy, increased their user base by
450,000, bringing the total number of homes receiving television over broadband to around
0.6 million. However, that number is predicted to rise to 11.3 million or just under 10% of the
market by the end of the decade, with IPTV by then established as the fourth digital platform.
The Strategy Analytics report, Digital TV in Western Europe, is based on a survey of more
than 70 operators across 16 European countries.

6.4.3    Over 8 million UK households currently with broadband

More than eight million UK households now have broadband net. About 60,000 new
connections are made every week in the UK. And with those connections getting faster and
fatter, telecoms firms are keen to find new ways to use them.

IPTV can be in the form of live TV, but more usually as stored video - video on demand
(VOD). To watch IPTV, a person sitting at home needs a computer, or set-top box, plugged
into the TV.

Currently, there are two IPTV services up and running in the UK.

Homechoice lets people watch more than 10,000 hours of programming all available
instantly. It can transmit 1,000 films, TV shows, and more than 3,000 music videos. The
programmes can be paused, and re-wound, as they can with personal digital video recorders,
like the Sky+ box.

Homechoice has a total of 15,000 subscribers, parent company Video Networks announced on
February 28th 2005. Their VOD service was re-launched last September with a major
marketing push aimed at its 1.2 million potential homes. Since the launch of an accompanying
telephone package in November, an encouraging 85% of new signups have opted for all three
services - digital TV, broadband internet and phone.

The company now plans to double its footprint by this summer, taking its potential subscriber
base to 2.4 million homes. The first new homes will come online in March 2005, with the
remainder being passed by June 2005.

There is also the Kit (Kingston Interactive TV) IPTV service in Hull run by telecoms
company Kingston Communications. It delivers programmes and subscription channels to
people through the phone line.

6.4.4   A threat or an opportunity?

Realistically, until broadband speeds are a standard above the current entry level of 1Mbps of
2Mbps, IPTV is unlikely to become widespread.

Broadcasters see IPTV as both a threat and an opportunity. When it really takes off the
technology we use to watch TV is likely to have changed. More TV sets are already being
built with digital set-top boxes integrated into them. This could bring about more convergence
between our hardware, such as computers, TV sets, digital video recorders, and set-top boxes,
as well as software and applications that we already use on computers. It also means that
much high-quality programmes, like high-definition films, could eventually be sent to people
over the net.

Interestingly, any content, such as TV programmes, transmitted over the same telephone lines
that homes get Internet access by, will be outside of communications' watchdog Ofcom's
regulation. Currently, UK broadcasters need a licence to broadcast. This means they have to
abide by certain rules, like taste and decency, and the watershed. IPTV will be outside of
those regulations, according to the 2003 Communications Act.

Across Europe, more than 30 Telco’s and network operators are testing IP TV services. Fast
Web in Italy is the biggest success story so far, and France Telecom launched an IPTV
service in late 2003. Called MaLigne TV, the service can be accessed by more than 10 million
households in France. Other European Telco’s, such as Belgacom, Deutsche Telekom, KPN,
Swisscom, Telefonica, and Telenor, have also been testing IPTV services.

Microsoft has signed up several telecoms companies, such as SBC Communications,
BellSouth and Telecom Italia, to help build a system using its own software to deliver IPTV
to people.

6.4.5   IPTV STB Vendors

There are three core STB vendors operating in the UK that are well placed to build upon the
increasing broadband roll out, increased data rates and improved compression techniques.

The primary player is Amino, a Cambridge based company that is already making compact
boxes for overseas markets. These have been used in various industry test programmes here,
not least in the BBC Research labs at Kingswood Warren.

Pace is a well known player specializing in STBs. They are a key supplier to BSkyB today
and have been developing their IPTV activities for some time. They are focused now on
supplying to the operator based vertical markets and therefore less disposed to providing a
low volume horizontal market option.

Thomson is an extremely large company with interests across the entire broadcast and
broadband arena. They tend to be at the forefront of new developments and have now been
contracted to manufacture the Sky HDTV PVR. This focus may impact their ability to supply
IPTV solutions to low volume services

6.4.6   BT and the BBC make a start

In the UK, several telecoms companies such as BT are planning such services. BT has already
started its push into television with plans to offer TV over broadband.

BT is moving to a content distribution strategy with aspirations to be an entertainment
facilitator according to Andrew Burke, chief of BT's new Entertainment unit. It is looking for
a good return on its investment in the technology which has made broadband over ADSL a
reality. It also sees delivering TV over broadband as a way of getting high-definition (HD)
content to people sooner than they will be able to get it through conventional, regular

The BBC is also trialling a service to play programmes over the net and has not ruled out
offering it to non-licence fee payers overseas. The corporation's Interactive Media Player
(iMP) is its first foray into IPTV.

The BBC's iMP has just finished successful technical trials and is set for much larger
consumer trials later in 2005. Before it officially launches, the BBC must show the
government how it offers value for money. The BBC says delivering programmes over
broadband offers clear public value, says the BBC, because it gives people more control, and
more choice.

6.4.7   Broadband changes the viewing experience

TV viewing by broadband is changing how people consume television.

Research shows that what suffers when people use the net more, is time spent in front of the
TV. According to Jupiter Research 40% of homes with broadband say they spend far less time
“vegging” out in front of the TV and just watching whatever is on. Instead of just watching
what is on, broadband is helping people make sure they catch the programmes they want to
see or that friends have recommended.

Video recorders started this trend by helping us catch the shows we would otherwise miss.
BSkyB’s Sky+ Personal Video Recorder (PVR) and a growing number of PVRs for Freeview
have developed this further.

The net is moving this on again by giving people a new means of consuming TV when they
want to. Now increasing numbers of people are turning to the net and, instead of waiting for
shows to be broadcast, are downloading what they want. There has been a lot of media
coverage over people accessing the first episode of new BBC Doctor Who series before it has
been officially released.

TV programmes are popular on file-sharing systems because good quality copies are easier to
get hold of, the episodes tend to be shorter than films and are quicker to download. Web users

can turn to the numerous net-based projects producing software that search out and store TV
programmes for you.

6.4.8   Lovelace Report

A major report from Lovelace Consulting and Informitv released on September 14th 2005also
indicates TV delivered into living rooms over broadband connections will completely change
TV as well as the internet as we know it,

IPTV (internet protocol TV), it says is a budding area that is exciting telecoms and media
companies. Within a decade, says the report TV programmes delivered to sets over the net
will be an established way to receive content. TV will be much more web-like, with millions
of shows to download.

Within five years, the authors predict, many households will have their TV piped through a
satellite dish, rooftop aerial or cable network, and through a broadband phone line. TVs will
be hooked up to set-top boxes which are, in turn, hooked up to the broadband pipe too. The
broadcast and on-demand programmes it will be able to receive will be in standard as well as
high-definition formats.

It predicts new players will exploit the disruptive power of the internet and change the form
and function of television forever and that Broadband television will ultimately adopt the
attributes of the web, providing access to an almost limitless selection of programmes.

IPTV does not rely on the limited broadcast network to transmit programmes. It used internet
technology so there is a limitless capacity for more programmes. Up until now, the report
suggests, net-based innovations and developments in digital TV were more or less separate

But now, the two are very much converging and some even suggest that the majority of video
and audio content will be received in households over the net in the longer term. The
technology is currently more widespread in Europe than in the UK because of faster and
cheaper broadband. This is changing as UK net service providers up the minimum speeds of
connections and prices fall. As an example there is ntl who are to boost the basic entry level
for its broadband subscribers to 10Mbps next year. The report’s authors advise that the 'pull'
of broadband network television will replace the 'push' of traditional broadcast television.

This means that the control of what programmes and content is available to watch will move
out of the hands of the traditional broadcasters and into the hands of the viewer. Traditional
broadcasters have been wrestling for some time with technologies such as PVRs (personal
video recorders) which allow viewers to take more control over what and when they watch.
But IPTV has the potential to disrupt that even more. Hundreds of different programmes
could be sent to different homes at the same time.

Broadband delivery of TV will also change what viewers will be able to do while watching
TV. It provides the perfect platform for genuinely interactive television, according to the
report. New and more efficient video encoding techniques - the Mpeg4 standard - allow for
cost effective transport of video. Improved infrastructure, as well as the uptake and speed of
broadband technologies to deliver it, have also helped.

One of the key areas in the next decade will be interactivity. But it is not just the interactive
TV experience that UK digital viewers have now. Increasingly, with the latest video encoding
technology, viewers will be able to trigger events while they watch video. Or you could
choose just to focus on one participant in a TV interview. If you watch a programme and see a
programme you like, you could feasibly select it and buy it online while still watching your

The real power of IPTV could be in its convenience and range of choice which the viewer will
subsequently have, such as micro-local content. People could tune into live traffic camera
streams, or film their own football teams to put on a local IPTV channel, as they do in
Norway. In Italy, one man uses IPTV to deliver news to the rest of his apartment block;
another films himself having breakfast with his blow-up doll.

It is a challenge that traditional media need to take seriously because people only have a
specific time period to watch TV, and they are spending some of that time online instead.

6.4.9    Broadband television brings true interactivity

This section draws on the opinions of Dr William Cooper – ex BBC Head of New Media
Operations and founder of Informitv. When he was at the BBC some five years ago, Dr
Cooper was primarily responsible for the delivery of online services. He inherited a basic
digital text service, and went on to manage the operational launch of enhanced and interactive
services across all three main digital television platforms: satellite, terrestrial and cable.

Dr Cooper advises that while conventional broadcasting currently remains the dominant
means of delivering television services to mass audiences, it is clear that the concept of
scheduled channels of mixed genre programmes, and indeed the advertiser supported model
of commercial television, will become increasingly challenged by the choice and convenience
offered by interactive and on-demand services.

The UK has led the way in the innovation of enhanced and interactive television of the type
developed by BSkyB and the BBC. The more sophisticated services require considerable
broadcast bandwidth to deliver additional streams of audio and video to enrich the viewing

Comparatively expensive to develop and deliver, such services can offer greater choice, but
often do not offer the on-demand convenience they appear to promise. Many remain
unacceptably unresponsive in use and looping video, however disguised, is often an
unsatisfactory compromise for a truly interactive service.

With the delivery of video services over broadband data networks there is the capability to
create sophisticated services that seamlessly blend broadcast and multicast television channels
with on-demand elements.

The ability to provide true VOD is clearly the inherent advantage of a bi-directional
broadband connection, as is an always available return path to support feedback and
transactions. Together with the opportunity to create localised and personalised services to
meet the needs of individual viewers, this potentially provides the perfect platform for
genuinely interactive television.

Moving from a one-to-many to a one-to-one relationship, this fundamentally changes the
television experience from passive viewing by a mass audience to active engagement of
individual citizens. This is the promise that digital cable television has always had in theory,
but has yet to deliver in practice. Now that opportunity is open to new entrants, but successful
execution remains a challenge.

Internet protocols provide more than just a convenient common transport medium over digital
telephone and cable television networks. In particular, they can exploit open standards, rather
than proprietary interactive television middleware, to create services that are cost-effective to
develop, deploy and deliver. It is also possible to take advantage of a wide pool of creative
and technical personnel already skilled in appropriate tools and technologies.

6.5      New Product Categories

This provides a brief overview of the types of consumer products being developed:

         •    Traditional VHS Video Recorder with DTT only tuner (Currently Daewoo is
              the only source and as a result this category may not develop fully). This
              product has capability only to record and playback a single Freeview DTT
              channel with no analogue reception or support.

         •    Digital Video Recording (DVR) hard disk recorders with digital only tuners.
              Some have single tuners (as offered by Humax and Fusion), others made by
              Pace and Thomson, amongst others, incorporate two DTT tuners to enable
              independent simultaneous DTV channel recording and viewing. Currently, the
              tuner capabilities for any of these are not clearly marked in consumer
              marketing. The confusion this may cause is further compounded by such
              products being referred to as PVRs –Personal Video Recorders. The latter are
              typically subscription based products where unlike DVRs; the owner has to pay
              a monthly fee for EPG provision as well as for services. Examples of PVRs are
              Sky+ and TiVo.

         •    DVD Recorders but with analogue only tuners and still not DTV compatible
              alongside other newer versions that incorporate a single Freeview tuner or those
              with two tuners.

         •    DVD/HDD combination receivers. Combining DVD and Hard Disk
              playback/storage many of these are analogue based products. However new
              Freeview DTT models are expected to appear in the near future.

         •    Portable HDD storage devices. Essentially products similar to the famous i-Pod
              but with video storage and playback capability.

         •    TVs with digital only tuners and no analogue such as the Techsan LCD IDTVs

         •    Mediacenter and other PCs with inbuilt TV tuners and remote controls – many
              provide analogue TV only. Those that are digital typically have no MHEG
              support for enhanced or interactive DTT services.

6.6      Infrastructure

Broadband continues to be the lead story in the Telecom’s sector. By June 2005, there were a
record 8.1 million broadband connections in the UK. The growth in broadband connections
has driven the uptake of products and services that are either unique to broadband, or that
provide a far more satisfying user experience at faster broadband speeds.

BT’s competitor DSL ISPs have been rapidly gaining market share over the past two years, to
a point where they now comprise 47% of all broadband connections, and the cable companies
have a combined 28% market share of broadband.

BT’s Fusion fixed-mobile product is expected to be only the first step in the convergence of
fixed and mobile platforms. A number of key enabling factors will facilitate development of
fixed-mobile convergence, notably:

         •   the emergence of handsets with            multiple   transmission   protocols   -

         •   the growth of voice over IP (VoIP) offerings over fixed broadband and WiFi

         •   a move towards all-IP transmission of voice and data over mobile networks.


Revenues in the mobile sector continue to power ahead; mobile spend in Q1 2005, at £3.3
billion, is some 17% higher than the same quarter in 2004, and now constitutes over a third of
all telecom’s revenues. In contrast, revenues from fixed calls and access continue to fall,
chiefly as a result of price competition.

July 2005 saw the use of SMS texting reach an all time high in the UK, when the country
passed the 100 billion message mark.

Figures for the month of July leapt to a remarkable 2.7 billion, the highest ever total,
according to figures released by the Mobile Data Association (MDA) in August 2005. Person-
to-person texts sent across the UK GSM network operators during July showed an increase of
23.5% on the total sent during the same period in 2004 with 87 million messages being sent
per day, the highest average daily figure recorded to date.


Ofcom’s latest Communications Market Report released in July 2005 indicated that 2004 was
the year in which broadband finally become a mass market consumer product. By the end of
December the number of residential broadband connections in the UK stood at 6.2 million,
representing an annual growth rate of over 90%. Around a quarter of all of UK households
now have a broadband service, and the number of broadband connections has now outstripped
narrowband dial-up accounts.

Most of these new broadband connections are being supplied via asymmetric digital
subscriber line (ADSL) technology and predominantly over BT’s copper wire line network.
Broadband internet connectivity is also available through the cable operators’ fibre-to-the-
kerb networks, using cable modems.

The growth in broadband penetration has been driven by two major factors:

         •    The ongoing roll-out of broadband availability to UK households. This is
              chiefly due to BT’s exchange upgrade programme. During 2004 the company
              announced its intention to make ADSL broadband available to 99.6% of the
              population by the end of 2005.

         •    The marked downward shift in subscription prices. This is not only in absolute
              terms, but especially in proportion to data speeds. In May 2004, a typical
              residential broadband ADSL connection cost £24.99 for 512kbit/s. By May
              2005, domestic citizens could pay as little as £17.99 for a 1Mbit/s connection:
              twice the speed for less than 75% of the price.

In reality, as of May 2005 most broadband ISPs began making 1Mbit/s connections their
basic offer, with 2Mbit/s being a premium product and 512kbit/s becoming the discount
option. Many ISPs are also following a strategy of automatically upgrading their subscribers’
connection speeds without raising their subscription prices.

There is persuasive evidence that this rise in data speed available to domestic citizens will
continue. For example, Bulldog and UK Online now offer speeds of up to 8Mbit/s.

This trend will be driven by a number of factors, including: technology advances; further
competitive pressures; the increasing availability and decreasing cost of head-end and end-
user equipment; and the growth in demand and supply of higher-bandwidth applications and

The Future for Broadband

Looking further into the future (beyond 2008), the next stage of network development will be
“next generation” access technologies, capable of delivering broadband services at speeds
many times higher than that currently available – 20Mbit/s for example.

Current estimates place the number of UK homes with such access at less than 2,000. As
such, next generation access remains very much a niche market in the UK, but
announcements of fibre deployments in Japan, Korea and the US have led to increased
interest in this country; consequently, a number of trials and jointly funded programmes have
been announced.

At the end of August Cable and Wireless owned Bulldog Communications announced plans
to offer 20 megabits per second (Mbps) service by the end of 2005. Precise details aren't yet
available, but it's likely that the product will be an SDSL product a symmetrical service giving
users high-speed connectivity both upstream and downstream rather than ADSL based fast
downstream only services.

Earlier in the month (8th August 2005) cable operator ntl unveiled its strategy for next
generation broadband.

10Mb is to become the standard cable broadband speed for its customers with all eligible to
upgrade at no extra monthly cost. Current 3Mb customers will the first to receive the new
service. The aim is to make 10Mb its standard broadband access speed. Broadband customers
will be able to choose a 10Mb service with a usage allowance to match their requirements.
The company will also offer a choice of broadband services with unlimited usage.

By the end of 2006, the roll out of this new product portfolio will be complete. There are no
plans to change monthly prices. However, some customers will need to upgrade their modem.
Further details will be announced shortly. Even higher speeds are promised. Moving
customers to a 10Mb Broadband service is part of a wider progression towards services with
even higher speed and greater bandwidth. NTL’s fibre-rich network means that broadband
speeds of between 30Mb and 50Mb are possible through DOCSIS 3.0 (cable) or ADSL 2+
(copper). NTL has the flexibility in its dual local network to offer this type of connection in
the future.

Currently, an NTL technology trial in Chorleywood is delivering speeds of up to 20Mb to a
school, small business and several homes. This level of speed and bandwidth offers the
opportunity to enjoy a host of new services. These include high definition TV, 1000 channel
global radio, video conferencing amongst friends & family, global gaming, low cost IP
telephony, video email, and of course the things people already use broadband for, but at
much greater speed.

An important technological development during 2004 was BT’s announcement of its intention
to move all customers onto its next generation IP-based network - ‘21st Century Network’ or
‘21CN’ - by 2008. This will be the largest deployment in the country and possibly the world.
BT has begun trialling some of the underlying technologies in 2004. This has extended to a
fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) pilot with 1500 triallists planned to end in September 2005. In
Scotland, the Atlas Project is building fibre communications infrastructure for business users.

As a consequence of all of the above forecasts, it is likely that the majority of domestic
broadband users will continue to migrate up the speed curve – from a norm of 512kbit/s in
2003, through 1Mbit/s in 2005, up to perhaps a norm of 5Mbit/s by 2007, and maybe as high
as 20Mbit/s by 2010. This evolution will have an increasingly dramatic impact, both upon the
way in which people use the internet, and also upon the type and number of devices that are
serviced by their broadband connection.

Faster broadband stimulates rich content and applications. Undoubtedly, faster download
speeds have led to a greater propensity for graphics- and motion rich web pages, often using
Flash, Shockwave or Java applications. TV and other multimedia over broadband are on the
horizon. If as expected, the average residential broadband rate rises further over the next few
years, and data compression techniques improve further over the same time period, these
services will become increasingly viable.

A 5Mbit/s connection would facilitate acceptably fast downloads of films, and a 20Mbit/s
connection would effectively allow full-streaming high-definition television broadcasts. This
ability to deliver high-quality television pictures over the copper network using ADSL
technology is likely to make the internet a viable future platform for broadcast/narrowcast
TV, or video on demand (VoD), in the same way that radio over internet is evolving today.

The 26th August saw Video Networks owner of the London based Homechoice IPTV service
announce it has completed the migration of its network from MPEG2 based compression to a
full MPEG-4 implementation. This long-awaited conversion to MPEG-4 has freed up
bandwidth that will eventually be used to provision more services. The company is the first in
the world to completely move to MPEG -4 compression in broadcast. The diagram below
shows a road map for Broadband technology and the types of services that it will enable:

                       Broadband Access
                       - New services demand Fibre capability
                                                                                           Home of
                                         New                                               the Future
                                         Opportunities                  FTTH
                                                                      (PON/OE)             Tele-presence
                                                                                        HDTV TV
                                                             VDSL                   Interactive TV
Mbps Required

                                                                               Digital TV
                                                                           Internet TV
                                                ADSL2+                 Interactive Shopping
                                          Wireless           TV download           Next-generation
                                                          Digital TV
                                           Mesh       Tele-education
                                    ADSL Full
                                                       Voice/Data/Video Telecommuting
                 1.0       3G Mobile               Video Telephony
                                              Virtual Video games
                                          Video Streaming
                                                                       The Triple Play Opportunity
                                                                        The Triple Play Opportunity
                                                                     is fuelling investment in
                                                                     is fuelling investment in
                       Modem          Integrated messaging
                                   Internet Radio
                              Static Web pages

7        Interactive digital TV and Government electronic service delivery
This section highlights the principle factors to consider when contemplating use of Digital
Interactive Television (DiTV) as a platform by which to provide various forms of
Government (central /local, public sector) electronic services delivery (ESD).

 Under each heading are varying indicative elements aimed at expanding and substantiating
the related topic in relation to ESD.

The section also looks in more detail at viewer demographic profiles to highlight typical
usage patterns and to inform electronic service delivery planning. Older and physically
impaired citizens tend to be heavier users of Government services on one hand and the least
disposed to adopt digital television on the other. Reconciling this mismatch in any DiTV
development raises great challenges. Accordingly the section draws out elements that impact
this section of the community.

The aim is to provide a broad overview of the relevance of DiTV as a channel for public
service delivery.

7.1      Interactive

There are several elements that can bring citizen confusion which in turn can greatly impede
their understanding of what interactivity means or to what extent it can serve their
requirements. The key strands are explored below. Much of the confusion is generated by
unclear industry marketing of products and services which can culminate in the wrong
product being selected and used by the citizen.

Many Government DiTV schemes centre on the relevant department providing the equipment
to the user and can play a significant role in addressing any confusion. However, this has to
be linked with strong communication about the product and services in advance of issue and
back up support for the user post issue.

7.1.1    Definition of Interactivity

Confusion over what classifies as interactive TV still largely remains – at least at the citizen’s
level. Many, particularly in the elderly and lower socio-demographic profiles struggle to
understand what the term means. Some believe they are interacting when accessing basic
information through basic teletext services while many do not understand the difference
between enhanced “one way” and true two way interactive “return path” based alternatives.

The citizen confusion is being compounded by mixed marketing messages within various
media. The issue is particularly prevalent in TV programmes where increasingly no
distinction is made between Freeview DTT and the other platforms’ return channel
capabilities. On many occasions users are told to “go interactive and press the red key now”
or “to vote press your red key” without broadcasters highlighting the return path capability is
essentially on digital satellite or cable only.

Recent heavy advertising of Freeview by the BBC simply refers to “interactive services” and
uses similar language to that of BSkyB as when they promote their own richer interactive
services on Digital Satellite linked with the return path.

Industry now generally acknowledges that the term “enhanced TV” is better placed to refer to
one-way applications such as teletext, EPG access etc and that “interactive TV” addresses
two-way services reliant on some form of return path, e.g. home shopping, betting, voting.
The latter also covers Internet based DTV solutions, still reliant on a return path in
combination with a browser. The last 12 months has seen some improvement in defining
interactivity – notably within the software/application writing section of the industry. They
are now more clearly distinguishing between enhanced (one way) and true interactive (two
way) services.

However, while the “back room teams” in broadcaster circles are recognizing and
increasingly adopting this differentiation, unfortunately such is still not permeating fully into
the citizen facing parts of the industry. As a consequence, citizens could still remain confused
over what will be delivered by the vast array of products on offer for the various platforms.

Currently, the BBC simply tells viewers to “press the red key now to access interactive
services” without indicating the varying levels of capability on Sky, cable and Freeview
platforms. Typically their promotional videos will only show video/images from the richer
Sky platform and make no mention of being for satellite viewers only and not being available
on Freeview.

Without the issues above being addressed, confusion and potential disappointment in product
purchases is set to increase as consumer-marketing for interactive services is being ramped up
by all primary broadcasters.

Today Freeview DTT is the primary platform of choice for many citizens – not least the older
and lower socio-groups who represent those most confused over technology. Accordingly, as
the leading marketing voice for Freeview, the BBC has yet to play a key role to play in
informing people of the platform’s capabilities in relation to others. Current marketing can
develop misplaced expectation of what can be delivered and by digital terrestrial TV (DTT)
products in particular.

An example would be during BBC News 24 or the corporation’s Wimbledon Open Tennis
coverage showing the option to view from 6 video screens whereas currently Freeview, due to
bandwidth constraints, only offers 2 screens.

There is also the fundamental issue in the lack of clarity of when phone line access is required
to get information or other advanced services. Viewers are simply told “get all this from the
red button” with no reference to services that will not be accessible without dial up via a
modem/telephone line.

More positively, the BBC has moved forward significantly with new BBCi online web pages
highlighting some service differentiation through a basic FAQ as below.


This is clearly a positive step but it does rely on people having web access, something many
of the older generation who struggle most to comprehend digital TV do not have.

 This is supported by the National            Only 1 in 6 aged 65+ have ever visited a website
 Audit Office (NAO) report of
 February 2003, that indicated that
 fewer than one out of every six
 people above the age of 65 have
 ever visited a website or sent an e-
 mail compared with more than
 nine out of every 10 people aged
 between 15 and 25 who have
 accessed the internet.                                 Picture courtesy of the BBC

With their televisions being the primary source of information for many citizens, it is TV
advertising/promotion of services that really needs to be differentiated. Unfortunately there is
still much to do in this area.

7.2      Government Departments

Government departments’ understanding of what interactive elements are possible from
Satellite, Cable, DSL and DTT platforms has greatly increased.

Through the Central and Local Government relations built up over the last two years and
particularly due to the DTI/e-GU (formerly Office of the e-Envoy -OeE) co-hosted quarterly
DTV Workgroup meetings there is now a more realistic approach being taken to DTV. The
latest consultation document from the e-GU clearly reflected more of the DTI/DCMS and
industry stance on what can be delivered by the DTV medium.

Additionally, the latest DH, DFES and ODPM projects are based on recognition of what
constraints Freeview DTT brings. The former established an information-only enhanced TV
service that can reside on all platforms before developing a more advanced interactive variant.
The ODPM is focusing its DigiTV ( initiatives on satellite and cable

where more interactive, transactional services are feasible. February 2005 saw the DFES
launch their “Teachers TV” service that capitalises on the non-subscription end enhanced TV
aspects of Freeview with new DTT PVR products.

                               Some government DTV initiatives are still not closely tied to
                               actual broadcast industry developments and general confusion
                               will arise as a result. These fail to take full account of the move
                               to switch the whole of the UK to DTV by 2012 and importantly the
                               moves by

“Digital UK”, transmission providers and broadcasters, manufacturers and retailers, regulators
and consumer groups in accordance with the DTI/DCMS led industry action plan.

Additionally, a number of significant local authority trials are tied to broadband-based IP
multicasting rather than conventional broadcast technology. All refer to delivering digital
television but typically most cannot deliver the broadcaster marketed enhanced /interactive
elements derived from such as Open TV or MHEG middleware and found in broadcast based
DTV Set Top Boxes and Integrated Digital TVs.

Furthermore, with such trials being built on expensive servers and wiring confined to telco
networks, opportunities for mass roll out are impeded.

Some help may be required to help the relevant authorities to still promote these trials
positively but while reflecting a more accurate representation of what the services are built on
to minimize confusion and manage expectation.

7.3      Integrated Digital TV and Interactive Digital TV

IDTV and IDTV ….do they stand for integrated digital TV or Interactive Digital TV?

There has been some improvement in this area. Many in the industry are now utilizing a
lower-case “i” to refer to interactive elements. This is particularly noticeable in the software
creation, and new media technology areas. Alongside this, use of “IDTV” all in upper case, is
becoming an increasingly common term amongst many areas of industry for integrated digital

Principally through e-GU and DigiTV drives, local and central government departments are
adopting “DiTV” to refer to all of their individual digital interactive TV initiatives.

It is important to develop common elements to minimize opportunities for further confusion.
This is particularly pertinent when new product groups are set to appear in the near future that
will undoubtedly confuse and test many people’s understanding.

7.4      Digital or not?

7.4.1    Product Badges

As well as new products such as the above, others still remain in stores that carry digital
badges suggesting a capability for DTV that doesn’t exist. The word “digital” is being used by
many on all manner of analogue TVs and other devices and has been for many years. From

Sony radio cassettes emblazoned with “ digital tuner” on the product, or expensive four figure
priced LG analogue TVs carrying Digital Light Processing display technology, there are
many others that use the term digital to cover all manner of different technologies, e.g. clocks,
stability systems on cameras, even switching on washing machines and fridge freezers.

7.4.2    Retailers

A diverse mix of products, such as those above, continues to be marketed in retail channels.

Some products are inexpensive and typically acquired through impulse purchases. As such,
these are not likely to generate major citizen concerns if performance falls below expectation.
However, there could be major issues with many citizens now showing interest in purchasing
expensive “four figures” priced large screen LCD and Plasma TVs. Retailers are promoting
such products heavily and not necessarily indicating sufficiently that many are analogue TVs
only. Many of those spending in excess of £2000 for a TV might expect that such a product
was future ready and be annoyed when being confronted by need to add an adaptor at extra

Citizens may fall into the trap of buying analogue based TVs and VCRS badged “digital” in
some way, believing they will be future safe for all aspects of Digital switchover .

7.4.3    Existing products at home

Misleading digital badging is not only relevant to new products. Many homes already have
TVs well in excess of 20 years old that carry digital references. Notably ITT from the early
80’s made a big play on promoting new TV circuitry using the name “Digivision”. Many
thousands of their sets were sold over subsequent years all carrying the Digivision badge on
the bottom left of the fascia below the screen. Considerable quantities are still in homes today.
Other manufacturers played on the word digital when promoting new tube technologies and
similar issues exist on their related products still being used today. Some citizens, particularly
the older and less technically aware may believe they are ready for switchover as a result of
owning such products.

7.4.4    Digital Radio

“Does it do digital? Only if you’re quick!” This was the strapline for the heavy promotion of
Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) on various radio channels in the run up to Christmas last

Such language and similar such as for EPG carriage on DAB radio may raise citizen
confusion in the belief that DAB and Freeview DTT are one and the same thing.

Carriage of some DAB radio channels on DTV such as BBC Radio 6 and Radio 7 simply
adds to this potential problem.

7.5      Cognitive Factors

Cognitive (intellectual) factors remain as the biggest cause of confusion and notably but not
solely amongst the older generation, as highlighted in Scientific Generic’s report for the DTI
on usability and accessible design.

While Industry players acknowledge the issue, some resist that the problems are DTV centric.
They argue the same cognitive factors already exist across other devices too. This is too
generalized, when there are clearly some DTV specific problems.

There are two main problem areas. The first is that the paradigm for user interaction is drawn
from the menu-driven world of personal computers whereas some people – particularly the
very elderly - have never used personal computers and are therefore not familiar with menus.
The second is poor ‘system interaction design’ where, even for people who are familiar with
new technologies, DTV equipment is non-intuitive and exhibits inconsistencies.

Millions of people have grown up operating analogue TV in much the same way for over 30
years or even more and developed strong usage habits as a result. Analogue TV has
essentially delivered the same line up of channels, accessible in much the same way on the
majority of products. Accordingly, it has become one of the most trusted and familiar
electrical devices in UK homes today – almost to the extent of being “part of the family” for

Cognitive issues particularly arise when configuration and basic use of digital TV is
fundamentally different to that for analogue products that have been used in a habitual manner
for over 3 decades or more.

With digital, citizens can no longer buy a TV product with the comfort of knowing exactly
what channels /services will be delivered and from a product roughly akin to another they had
owned previously. With analogue purchases they knew that they would get the same 5 basic
channels, Teletext and Nicam sound regardless of what set they bought. When replacing one
TV with another they could also typically rely on getting the same quality of reception from
an aerial.

Against this background, is the introduction of DTV bringing different platforms, and related
commercial packages –subscription, free to view, triple-play etc. Each offers differing
numbers of TV channels and other services. Then there are EPGs, menus, and delayed
starting when some applications are launched. This is unfamiliar territory for many –
particularly amongst the older communities where TV viewing habits are more entrenched or
similarly in poorer communities less able to upgrade technology as regularly.

The cognitive issue is compounded through the likes of the various platforms’ service
differences or again by the horizontal marketing of the DTT platform bringing many products
with varying capabilities. Comprehension of what cable offers also proves difficult. While
the UK’s national digital cable network is now ran by 2 primary operators (NTL and
Telewest) many radically different service mixes run over the franchise areas. Each are built
on a disparate infrastructure platform as a result of rapid consolidation after acquisition of the
previous 20+ different franchise holders.

Some improvements in the older population’s understanding of what DTV brings have been
aided by product recommendation and explanation from their peers.

The emergence of more appealing content for the elderly, such as seen on BBC4 and notably
through the increasing raft of history based programming on various channels as stimulated
some of the elderly to “move into digital”. Having struggled through the new technology
themselves they then find themselves well placed to assist their friends and family members
using commonly understood language.

The benefit of training by like minded and similar aged people has clearly been demonstrated
in initiatives such as the “Silver Surfers” project ran by Nuneaton and Bedworth council.
Under this initiative, those of retirement age or above are taught how to access the Internet,
use email etc via TV based browser solutions and PCs.

The Human Factors section of this report explores cognitive elements and others impacting
the elderly and others in more detail.

Any marketing campaigns need to carry a strong educational/training slant to address
cognitive factors typically experienced by many of the older generation. However care should
be taken over how to address the elderly and a move away from standard stereotypes should
be taken. Age itself is not a means of qualifying how people think, work or spend.

The growing power of the ‘grey pound’ creates an older generation that is more liberated,
untroubled by financial concerns and more committed to enjoying life than younger
generations. Over half of people in their 50s and 60s see no difference between themselves
and their children in terms of attitudes and interests, indicating that traditional stereotypes of
retired people have become outdated.

In a clear indication of the enhanced confidence, vitality and quality of life of the ‘grey
pound’ population, 85% of 55 to 65 year olds believe they successfully get the most out of
life, with a quarter of them spending more money on leisure pursuits and hobbies rather than
household necessities compared to younger generations. Over half are less concerned about
finances and 71% feel more liberated today than in earlier stages of life.

7.6      Community

Community based services are an element of interactivity that continue to attract strong

The definition of community extends to groups of people, kinship, or neighbourhoods.
Community based services are those principally based around contact between multiple users
with shared interests.

While in general, Interactive services are still not key drivers for digital TV take-up, some
applications and services have caught the public imagination. Community based services are
primary examples that have seen strong usage in various forms - all principally based around
contact between multiple users with shared interests.

7.7      Local services

The ability to address the local community through various electronic channels remains a key
driver for various Central and Local Government departments and agencies. DTV is still seen
by some as a viable channel on which to deliver eGovernment services and save costs for
supporting their communities.

A positive development from current local government DTV initiatives is a clear
strengthening of community values and sense of belonging. As an example, many of the
trainers involved in the Nuneaton and Bedworth Silver Surfer’s Project have remarked that
being involved in the project has generated new friendships and activities in the local areas
that they would not have otherwise got involved in.

Similarly, with the Newham Council “Carpenters Connect” project delivering more localised
content it has seen many of the residents in the 2 tower blocks involved, comment on a new
sense of community and feeling they were being included. The project has highlighted issues
that affect everyone in the neighbourhood and has led to people who would otherwise pass
each other in the street, start talking to each other and working together.

A strong community element has emerged in the form of local TV services. Such are not the
typical regional services that have been delivered for many years - but really local services
that come down right down to street or establishment level. It appears the more localized the
services, the higher levels of interest/penetration generated within the related local community
as the content is seen as more directly relevant to those viewing.

7.8      BBC Local TV initiatives

Citizen interest in really local or personalized services continues to develop and the need to
consider solutions has been recognised by the BBC.

The concept of an on-demand local television news service was first outlined in the BBC
manifesto Building Public Value in June 2004, having been previewed by Ashley Highfield at
the International Broadcasting Conference in 2003.

At the 2003 IBC fair, Highfield spoke on the growth of interactive TV and on creating more
services where there was more emphasis on localization and personalization. He went on to
say that the BBC was to work on providing “Ultra Local” content. Examples of this extend to
where the news can be narrowed down to a major town and not just huge regions within the

August 2005 saw these plans develop when the BBC announced plans for local television
news to serve individual cities and counties in the UK, starting with a pilot to cover five areas
of the West Midlands.

                                           The service will be available through an interactive
                                           application on satellite television, together with on-
                                           demand bulletins on other platforms.

                                           According to Mark Thompson, the BBC Director
                                           General, they will be as local as BBC radio
                                           services, serving individual cities, conurbations and

Satellite viewers will be able to see the bulletins at fixed points within each hour, accessed
through the red button on their remote control. The same regularly updated sequences, up to
ten minutes long, will also be available instantly on demand: on the internet, on broadband
television, or even mobile phones but note not Freeview – at least prior to Switchover.

The aim is to create a new model of local television, based on news and information, in
partnership with the community, working with the public, private and voluntary sectors to
build and sustain the service.

The pilots will run in Herefordshire and Worcestershire; Stoke and Staffordshire; Shropshire;
Coventry and Warwickshire; and the Birmingham area. The pilot scheme will be assessed for
its market impact, and subject to these tests and a formal review by the BBC Governors, the
BBC then hopes to introduce around 60 similar services across the UK.

To deliver all 60 bulletins by satellite on a similar model would require 12 television
channels, which could be reduced to 4 by limiting the service to a quarter screen. Even then,
each ten minute bulletin would only be shown once an hour. However, in the future local
bulletins could be recorded through a personal video recorder, and cable and new broadband
television platforms may ultimately make the bulletins available on demand. When analogue
television is eventually switched off, local digital terrestrial television could even be a

A presentation gave by Endemol at the 5th Annual Interactive TV show in Barcelona during
October 2004, reported that their forays into community based TV had been successful. In
particular, their production of “RESTORATION”, a series for BBC2 on restoring old
buildings had worked well in attracting an older demographic. Many such people had voted
by SMS, or the associated website for the building they wanted saving. Perhaps not
surprisingly, the series also created very regionalized voting, with many voting for properties
in or close to their towns.

7.9      Platforms

It should be noted that the success of the Kingston and Newham services can be largely
attributed to both being broadband DSL based services. This affords a level of direct
connectivity with individual users not afforded by conventional broadcast platforms.

Similarly, other Government trials have largely focused on use of cable networks for similar
direct connectivity reasons, plus of course the ability to build on Internet based services they
are already running.

The Newham Estate trial is a particularly expensive solution with dedicated servers housed
within the target tower blocks and in conjunction with a high-powered fibre based network.
Such a configuration is not something that could be considered on a mass roll out basis.
However, there are significant advances taking place in UK broadband provision that may
allow suitable IPTV solutions to emerge in the mid term.

7.9.1    Communication

The communication element remains closely tied to community-based services. The latter
can’t be developed unless there are effective means for people to communicate with each
other or service providers. In the context of having a return path communication channel, Sky
continues to offer the most sophisticated interactive services offering red button interactivity
and a return path.

Until recently enhanced services on digital cable had been predominantly text-based, lacking
the technology now afforded them since migrating to Liberate 1.2 and 1.3 software.
Generally, interactivity on cable is more server-based but does offer red button interactivity
and the always-on return path. Having said this, the inherent fragmented network structure
has meant that some areas cannot enjoy the full variety of interactive applications offered

7.9.2    Digital Terrestrial

The digital terrestrial platform represented by Freeview in the UK is the least capable in
technical terms. To date, enhanced services are largely based on digital text but are red button
driven. The BBC uses channel changing to give a more interactive experience and because
they have the resources to do so. This is not possible for most of the other broadcasters as
they don’t have the necessary bandwidth available. With one exception, there is also no built
in return path available on the Freeview platform but other means such as premium telephone
numbers or mobile phone texting are increasingly being used instead. With the exception of
the Netgem iPlayer STB with browser, there is still no other UK DTT receiver carrying a
modem or supporting other telephone connectivity.

The strong take up of low cost Freeview adapters without return path brings major issues for
Government departments wishing to utilize DTV for eGovernment services. According to
latest OFCOM statistics released in July 2005, Freeview DTT accounted for nearly 70% of
the growth in the number of digital homes in 2004; over 3.25 million digital terrestrial boxes
and integrated digital TVs were sold over the course of the year UK homes. There are now
more than 5 million UK homes with Freeview and sales continue to exceed those for Sky at
an average rate of 6:1

Many departments appear to have chosen to forget DTT and remain focused on satellite and
cable alternatives. As mentioned earlier in this paper, such a stance risks not addressing the
main cross section of the community that generate the majority of costs to departments. On
top of the older citizens who favour the simplicity of DTT, there may be others in the sector
that desire satellite and cable but cannot afford the high costs associated with subscription

The manufacturing industry in general is still demonstrating disinterest in developing
freeview receivers with onboard modems or connectors for external alternatives. Against the
background of the continued drive for lower cost solutions, they still see no compelling
business case for developing new solutions.

This can only change if Government departments recognize the greater appeal of DTT
amongst their target groups in the community and work collectively to define a common
solution that can be procured in high numbers under a centralized buying/distribution process.

                                                        •   Netgem

                                                        French manufacturer still remains the
                                                        only producer of a Freeview DTT
                                                        receiver   with    inbuilt    Internet
                                                        browser/modem (56K) for return path


British Telecom continues to source a version of the model but branded “BT”. Neither the
public telecoms company nor Netgem use retail channels to distribute their models but do it
themselves. This is attributed in part to the need for a telephone line connection as part of the
first time tuning process linked with generally less easy installation and usage requirements.

Netgem have been exploring the idea of offering a consumer support and installation service
but have not yet confirmed this will happen. Resource availability and cost of provision are
understood to remain as core constraints. In addition to carrying a built in 56K modem to
allow return path solutions, the product also has the capability to provide features such as the
following that could be beneficial to public sector organizations:

            –   Answer phone on           –        Caller Log on TV          –   Caller ID on TV

            –   SMS Text on TV            –        Email on TV               –   Internet on TV

            –   Broadband                 –        Home Networking.

Hillingdon Borough Council are well placed to advise on deploying the Netgem iPlayer.
Under the auspices of the ODPM led DigiTV project they aimed to establish a viable business
case for use of DTV for delivering eGovernment services.

The proposition was specifically designed to meet the needs of their housing ALMO as well
as offer general council information and services. Their offering was to allow a controlled
group of tenants to communicate and interact with the council, testing a range of transactions;
account queries, account amends, payment on account, information transactions, service
requests as well as offering a number of consultation elements.

The Council identified a group of people within the borough who have a higher than average
use of council services and aim to provide them with the means to use DiTV to interact with
Hillingdon to see whether or not DiTV could become a useful, if not preferred, method of
communication, and thus realise benefits elsewhere in the service provision chain.

Hillingdon intended to put 500 Netgem boxes into homes across the borough. Although this
element of the project is being undertaken via web-on-TV boxes, it could just as well be using
Sky or a cable platform.

The identified user group in LB Hillingdon comprised of tenants. As a consequence housing
specific services and some wider information was to be made available to the tenants and they
were to be able to test a variety of housing based services such as; checking their account,
making a rent payment, requesting a repair, reporting an issue, changing account details,
commenting in a consultation type exercise as well as gaining access to a wide range of
information services.

Alongside marketing and training on the service, Hillingdon set out to understand if there is a
real use, wide spread take up and comprehension of DiTV services, whether they get more
contact and interaction with their tenants and most importantly if this could mean savings
elsewhere in the service provision chain, which of course is one of the aims of e-Government.

Conversations with the Hillingdon management and colleagues at the ODPM /Kirklees
DigiTV Project indicated that the project fell short early on. Fewer triallists were located and
issues arose with the level of support available from the manufacturer’s limited UK operation.
Having said that sources at Kirklees indicate that the business case was sufficiently proven
but interestingly the pilot service is to migrate to Sky and cable as a full service. This may
reaffirm there were clearly some issues with the Netgem product/support, however the move
to the other platforms benefits Hillingdon with no need to provide receivers and access to the
full ODPM Starter kit and wider support from Kirklees.

7.9.3    SMS

The ability to exchange text messages is a key constituent for maintaining communication
practices. As well as more basic SMS ties to broadcast content, other developments are taking
place. Sky has introduced a Skyactive service that enables SMS messages to be created on
Skydigital STBs for sending to and receiving from mobile phones. Their sister company NDS
has also devised a system to enable mobile phones to carry a WAP based version of the
Skydigital EPG on them. This offers users the ability to text commands to the PVR in the
home and set timed recordings etc.

Channel 4’s 4Ventures team are actively working on mobile phone related ties with their
broadcast services that move beyond basic texting elements, to others that more directly
impact the viewing experience on screen.

At a local government level, January 2002 saw Rushmoor Borough Council which addresses
the Farnborough area of Hampshire launch “Infotxt” – an SMS service allowing residents to
be kept up to date on the council’s activities. The scheme sponsored by Nokia is currently
aimed at mobile phones only but Rushmoor were very interested in developing the service to
reach across DTV too.

By using the infotxt service Rushmoor Borough Council not only raised awareness of the
facilities Rushmoor has to offer such as Alpine Snowsports, Princes Hall, West End Centre,
Farnborough Recreation Centre and Southwood Golf Course but could also give added value
to the local community through effective communication of information. It is currently free to
subscribe to the service as is receiving of messages.

7.9.4   Chat

The extension of SMS texting into chat /messaging based services between multiple users is
proving to be a very strong interactive element and key means of developing community
oriented services.

As part of a revamp to BBCi and Ceefax, messaging services have been a target for Emma
Somerville Head of Interactive Programming – Television at the BBC and Rahal Chakkara
Controller BBCi, with plans laid to add chat to programmes from Question Time to
Crimewatch and Liquid News.

With regard to cable, chat and email based services form key service aspects for the platform.
Government departments involved in DTV trials have capitalized on this when building their
test services for their local communities.

In addition, the 6th December 2002 saw the Department of Health conduct “event chat” trials
on their Channel Health pilot using the Telewest Interactive platform in Birmingham. Patients
all aged 55 or over were able to discuss medical matters with a hip replacement consultant or
physiotherapist. The tests were well received by both the patients and medical personnel who
saw them as a useful means of developing patient support.

7.9.5   Mobile Phone Connectivity

Mobile phone take up continues at a pace. There are now more mobile phones than people in
the UK. In May 2005 penetration levels passed 101%

With the majority of mobile phones now in use offering some form of connectivity for
external devices, they remain well placed to be developed as a return path solution for DTV
receivers and Freeview DTT models in particular.

Some of the current DTT models have potential for connectivity through supporting RS232
interfaces that could be developed to handle mobile connectivity. However, further work is
required to develop future DTT models’ abilities to address ties to mobile phones.

7.10    Summary

Government ESD solutions can clear be derived from DiTV but as Section 7 illustrates there
are there are many elements to consider. These need to be measured against other channels
abilities to deliver when planning services.

Fundamentally, broadcasting regardless of platform is a “one to many” delivery mechanism
well placed to deliver same content simultaneously to all target users economically. It is
therefore less well placed to offer the much more localized and personalized services that are
often desired by users and the serving authority

DiTV can provide simple enhanced (one way) information only services through such as
digital teletext or red button links. This can be offered by all UK DTV platforms but subject
to developing content for MHEG, Open TV and Liberate middleware as utilized by Freeview
DTT, Sky or Cable.

Provision of full two way interactive services is inherently feasible through the normal
Skydigital telephone connectivity and Cable operators’ pipes. However, this needs to be
balanced against the use of other existing platforms that rely on no or less educational,
marketing and other communications to the citizen.

Use of alternative channels can provide a far more cost effective solution and or those that are
habitually used by the citizen. As an example, with many homes owning DVD players
providing information only audio/video solutions may be better served by supplying citizens
with a CD or DVD disc.

The PC and Internet remains as the primary ESD vehicle by which citizens tend to interact
with the public sector when seeking information or conducting more transactional elements.
For the less technical user and/or for more immediate or basic services the telephone (fixed or
mobile) remains the device of choice.

Attempting to replicate these services on DiTV will be costly and continue to gain limited
take up. Essentially television is a platform for rich video entertainment based services shared
by many. This is a complete opposite to typical Government services.

8        Leading Government DiTV initiatives
This section explores a number of current Government DiTV trials to include those ran by
Central Government departments and leading local authority initiatives. It outlines various
factors for their success or other that impact their potential for further development. At the
end of Section 8 are two tables that score these against the Scottish Executive DiTV initiative.

8.1      Department of Health (DH): NHS Direct TV

The Department of Health (DH) has invested more time and money than most in researching
the potential for DiTV for public sector electronic service delivery (ESD). This led to the
introduction of NHS Direct TV which continues to operate today.

8.1.1    Pilots

Between 2001 and 2003, DH conducted four DTV pilots:

         •    Living Health

         •    Channel Health

         •    Communicopia

         •    DKTV ( A different kind of TV).

Significantly, DH used these to explore different platforms’ capabilities and ability to support
different services against NHS Direct requirements.

The four DiTV pilots offered distinctive services. Although there were some overlapping
features, each had many distinctive qualities. These included the type of platform on which
the service was transmitted, the amount and nature of content, the presentation formats
used, and the degree of interactivity offered.

Living Health transmitted a largely text-based health information service to Telewest
cable television around 50,000 subscribers in Birmingham, together with an experimental
GP appointments’ booking service and InVision - a video nurse from an NHS Direct call-
centre who appeared on the caller's TV screen as they spoke to each other over the telephone.

Communicopia presented a mixed text-based and VOD health information service
branded as NHS Direct Digital and transmitted over a broadband telephone network
operated by Kingston Interactive Television (KIT) in Hull. The operator also provided users
with an interactive online medical records-keeping service, which focused on immunisation

Channel Health presented a text-based information service linked to special broadcasts in its
regular schedule on the Sky Digital platform. It majored on the theme of maternity issues and

experimented, on a local basis, with a package of other interactive services for pregnant
women comprising mainly e-mail support links between users and health professionals.

DKTV, via a broadband service, offered interactive links to community health services
together with videos on health issues accessible through the TV set.

A maternity advice programme entitled Bush Babies, broadcast by Channel Health was
broadcast nationally, and the three others provided strong regional coverage (London,
Birmingham, and Hull).

8.1.2   Research findings

This section outlines the key findings from post trial research conducted on behalf of the DH
by City University. Research concentrated on Living Health and NHS Direct Digital services
where approximately 17,417 users and 760,219 page views were investigated.

DiTV viewers used the platforms for health information services and this use was
associated with positive outcomes. The extent of use appeared to be limited by the services
menu prominence; other limiting features are the inability to print out information, something
overlooked by system designers.

Most users were helped in understanding more about their condition. Health information users
on DiTV were about twice as likely to use information as a substitute for a visit to the doctor
compared to users who had not used the service.

Just under a third of the DiTV users used DiTV information health service. They were likely
to look at a lot of pages in a session and assumed to be due them using the service in a home
environment and at a time that suited them (i.e. It was convenient).

DiTV appeared to offer users from lower socio-economic groupings a chance to access health
information. There was also some evidence that men in the 20s - a DH target group - might
view the service in the early morning. A variety of subjects were viewed, however, it
became apparent that DiTV users were much more likely to view health topics of a personal
and possibly embarrassing (i.e. sexual) nature. Some industry pundits attributed this to young
teenagers accessing risky content for fun rather than actually requiring the services.

Use of transactional true two way interactive services was disappointing to say the least. The
available applications included visual interpersonal communication with an NHS nurse
(Living Health – Invision (Broadband Nurse), online appointments booking with one's GP,
and the maintenance of personal medical details online, in this instance personal
immunisation records. In addition, one consortium tested a small-scale e-mail support
service for a specific group - pregnant women.

With regard to accessing the “broadband nurse” service, take up was extremely disappointing.
Only 163 users (both citizens and nurses) from a potential audience of 38,000 in four months
chose to use this.

The Living Health - GP Surgery Bookings Service also received extremely low usage with
just 30 people making an online appointment with their doctor over a period of six months.
This can in part be attributed to only three surgeries being in the pilot and one of these
showed little interest in the experiment. The service was also difficult to use.

The NHS Direct Digital - vaccination service accounted for just 0.14% use as no more than
28 used the service. This may be as a result of the users being required to enter all relevant
personal details.

DiTV users recorded an average session time of about six minutes, About 57% of DiTV
health information service users went on to view 11 or more pages and 39% went on to view
over 20 pages.

For all platforms there was a tendency for women under the age of 55 to be major users. This
changed after 55 when men took a more active role in searching for health information. Older
people, those over 75, were - also unsurprisingly - less likely to take up online systems
compared to other users. In part this was due to them considering themselves not being
adept with technology and in part because they preferred their advice coming from medical

DiTV demands certain sophistication in navigating a series of menus. It is important to note
that for many elderly people, and also for others not familiar with the Internet, using
Web derived metaphors such as ‘Home’ may not be appropriate.

DiTV tended to be used by lower socio-economic groupings. Lower income groups were
twice as likely to use the health information service compared to higher income groups.

Prior experience with technology can have a profound effect on the willingness and
ability of people to engage with online health information systems. Those who already
owned DiTV solutions were not surprisingly more active users of the medium for the pilot

As always content appeared to be king. DiTV proved to be more popular than the Internet or
Kiosk alternatives. This was in part attributed that the DiTV service being a single source of
information and more authoritive. Unlike the Internet it was not prone to providing many
sources and possibly contradictory or misleading information. However, 40% of DiTV users
said they would not necessarily trust the information provided.

Using with an audience is a problem. Users were more willing to use a service for certain
types of embarrassing content, the greater the privacy offered. This suggests that the best
place for viewing much health information is in the home. DiTV was well regarded in
this context – possibly slightly more than the Internet where there were concerns that others
could hack into the viewer’s navigation choices etc.

Questionnaire returns suggested that elderly people did not consider themselves to be
competent in using new technology, and this impacted on their use DiTV. For
example, older NHS Direct Digital users, particularly women aged over 55, said in
questionnaire returns that they found the service difficult to use, however the percentages
saying this were a lot smaller compared to those older users using the kiosk based

There were other factors exacerbating inequality in use by age. A reluctance to obtain and use
information from any sort was found, both from interviews with elderly people and from
health professionals who dealt with them. This appears to be partly because they were not
used to living in an ‘information age’, in which it was common for younger people to

seek out their own information. This was partly due to deference to their GPs, and partly
due to a kind of fatalism with regard to the technology.

This City University report found that a good deal of evidence to support the belief that
DiTV could be the best platform for delivering health based information services to the
population. It says that DiTV appears to reach a broader audience and its use is less inhibited
than other platforms. However care needs to be taken with regard to the positioning of
services and nomenclature. Using terms derived from the Internet (‘Home page’ etc.) may
not be appropriate in the short term, where a significant proportion of DiTV users may not
have experience with the Internet.

The intensive research by the DoH in the pilots culminated in the launch of the NHS Direct
Interactive TV service going live in December 2004. Despite the use of the word “Interactive”
in the name, the service was launched as an information only service in the short term with
plans to introduce more interactive elements later.

 £5 million per year has been invested for the next three years in NHS Direct Interactive
which will cover the cost of running the service across all the main digital TV platforms. This
amounts to roughly 10p per year for each person in the country (or about 20p per current
digital TV viewer per year). The service is available to digital satellite viewers only at the
moment and carries about 3000 pages of content ranging from:

      •   An A-Z of health related issues, including hundreds of topics covering illnesses and
          conditions such as flu, diabetes, coronary heart disease etc;

      •   Advice on looking after yourself, on diet and nutrition, on exercise, on quitting
          smoking and on sexual health;

      •   Video clips on a range of health topics;

      •   Tips on how to use the NHS – such as how to register with a GP;

      •   There are no two way interactive elements currently. Sky viewers can access the
          service by pressing the interactive button on their Sky remote control and scrolling
          down the menu and selecting ‘NHS Direct Interactive’.

8.2       KiT – Hull

Kingston Communication’s interactive TV service in Hull is a leading exponent of localized
services, especially when their own dedicated telecoms network infrastructure in Hull lends
itself to such formats.

A particularly successful application has been one that enables local schools to have an
individual presence on screen and to create TV programmes to be carried on the Kingston
Interactive TV service (KiT).

Such has included the school nativity play or pantomimes. The children involved bring
pressure to their parents to get the service so that they can be “seen on telly”.

Children’s paintings and artwork has been displayed in a virtual gallery service as well.

Schools involved have also used the Internet element of the Kingston service to indicate how
they are performing in national tables etc.

The KiT Local Loop service has also been well received. Essentially this is a virtual shopping
mall of local retailers who would otherwise be unable to afford TV advertising exposure on
conventional ITV regional services. Even the larger national retailers who have no such issues
still take placements in Local Loop to address the local community more closely.

KiT also offers a local news service that draws from items from the regional ITV service.
Rather than delivering news on areas outside of Hull, it focuses on those only relevant to the
local community.

The BBC has capitalized on Kingston’s lead in broadband-based TV delivery and has been
experimenting with various services through the BBCi Hull initiative. This extended to the
creation of “Thunder Road”, a localized soap series based around a bingo hall in the Hull

8.3     Department for Education and Skills (DFES) – “Teachers TV”

This project is one of the more recent Government Central Government DiTV initiatives and
importantly stands alone in being deployed on the Freeview DTT platform alongside satellite,
cable and DSL alternatives to be a truly platform neutral service.

Launched on 8th February 2005, Teachers TV is a television channel dedicated to the teaching
profession. It is aimed at everyone who works in schools, with a schedule designed to suit a
variety of lifestyles and working hours.

Teachers' TV, is costing the government £20m a year but is editorially independent and will
provide advice and show discussions of educational issues.

The channel was launched by Adam Hart Davis, the face of BBC science and history
programmes such as What the Romans Did for Us. It is broadcasting 24 hours a day on digital
satellite, NTL, Telewest, HomeChoice, KIT and overnight for recording of Freeview DTT. It
also has a dedicated website at

For the Freeview DTT service, the DFES is understood to have provided a number of PVRs
to allow the users to record programmes only from 00:00 midnight to 06:00 a.m. for later
viewing. Building on this a new discount purchase scheme has been introduced see below.

Teachers' TV is divided into three "zones" - one each for professional advice to primary and
secondary staff and another "general" one. The Primary and Secondary Zones offer practical
ideas and techniques, plus recordable programmes aimed at pupils. Each week there is a
different role and subject focus.

The General Zone is where there are programmes of broader interest. These include a weekly
look at careers in CareerWise which also advises staff on how to get a "good work-life
balance". There is a round-up of each week's education news and a ten o'clock documentary
slot showing challenging and insightful programmes. These have included Ofsted boss David

Bell being interviewed by educationalist Professor Ted Wragg and Jonathan Dimbleby
chairing a debate on proposed reforms to education for 14 to 19-year-olds.

Sheena McDonald fronts a weekly news programme and fly-on-the-wall programmes will
offer teachers the opportunity to see others at work. Most programmes are downloadable from
the website and you can find a wide selection of support material to accompany many of

8.3.1    “Get Teachers TV” Discount Scheme

A “Get Teachers TV” discount purchase scheme as since been introduced. Educational
institutions across England, including schools, nurseries, FE colleges and teaching training
colleges and the people that work in them – from teachers and trainee teachers, to support
staff, governors and external professionals – can now get cheaper DTV products and services.

Get Teachers’ TV has partnered with Comet (for the Freeview service), HomeChoice, KIT,
Telewest and Top Up TV. Interested parties have to visit the Get Teachers’ TV website to
register their eligibility, select the offer that best suits them and get a discount code.

Available in London, HomeChoice offers 50 % off its entry level package for the first three
months, incorporating digital TV, on-demand TV, broadband Internet and its free Evenings
and Weekends Talk Plan.

Eligible people who reside in the Hull area can sign up to KIT’s entry level package, Access
Pack, for 12 months or more, get two months’ free subscription on 36 TV and radio channels,
as well as free connection, free rental of the modem and set-top-box, and a 50 % discount on
the cost of installation.

Telewest Broadband is offering free installation on any digital TV and phone service and a £5
discount every month, for 12 months, when the customer combines a digital TV package with
broadband Internet and telephone services. Comet will give 10 % off any digital equipment
that lets you receive the Freeview service. As Teachers’ TV broadcasts overnight on
Freeview, Comet’s offer extends to its Personal Video Recorders (PVRs), also known as hard
disk recorders. Additionally, any organisation that orders over £1,000 worth of equipment
from Comet will get a free DVD player, meaning that by combining orders with colleagues’
people can get even more for their money.

Teachers can also enhance the Freeview services they receive, by signing up to the Top Up
TV subscription service. Under the Get Teachers’ TV discount scheme, Top Up TV is
offering an 8 % discount off the first year’s subscription, essentially giving 13 months for the
price of 12.

Research carried out by ICM for Teachers’ TV revealed that the majority of teachers welcome
the opportunity for more training and opportunities to observe others in the classroom. 64% of
teachers questioned said that they wanted more training and the view was the same from 70%
of department heads.

Teachers spend on average almost an hour a week on researching training courses and
resources, equating to 48 hours a year or 6 working days. The channel is expected to help
teachers by featuring time saving ideas and delivering television based classroom resources.

86% of teachers questioned welcome the chance to be an observer in other classrooms
because only 11% regularly have the opportunity to do so. 25% of those questioned felt that
one of the most important aspects to training was to view best practice.

8.4      Carpenters TV – RegenTV

8.4.1    Carpenters Connect

Carpenters Connect, was a community based interactive TV project on the Carpenters Estate
in Newham, East London, officially launched on Thursday 14 November 2002. The launch,
took the form of a party for residents and guests, held at the Carpenters and Docklands Centre
on the Estate from 6.00 to 8.30 in the evening.

The Carpenters Connect project was led by Newham Council and supported by the following
partner organisations:

        Carpenters Tenant Management Organisation      Microsoft

        Carpenters College                             Neos Networks

        Carpenters School                    

        Department for Education and Skills (DfES)     Newham College

        G-Cluster                                      Newham 6th Form College

        Internet Vision                                Pace

                                                       University of East London

Carpenters Connect was one of seven projects around the UK, forming part of the Department
for Education and Skills’ (DfES) “Wired-Up Communities” initiative. It claimed to be unique
in being the only one of the seven that uses interactive TV.

Carpenters Connect provided residents with access to a range of free entertainment and
information services. These included Internet, email, estate website and videos as well as a
unique PC experience on the TV with such as Microsoft’s Windows Word and other
programs being available. The services were offered through a set top box linked to the
television in peoples’ homes.

The STB supplied by Pace was the DSL4000 IP-based digital home gateway, a set top box for
use on telco networks delivering streamed video rather than broadcast TV based services. As
such it was not a conventional broadcast based STB and substantially more expensive.

Another key element of Carpenters Connect was “Home 2 Home”, the estate’s own TV
channel and website, which was created with the support of the Media Trust. “Home 2 Home”

projects included the documentary film “Meet the Neighbours”, featuring the residents of
Carpenters Estate and was made with their assistance.

8.4.2   An expensive and difficult concept to transfer

In addition to the more costly STB, Carpenters Connect was founded on a very expensive
fibre network with dedicated servers close to the two target tower blocks. As a consequence it
is not a proposition that can be easily and inexpensively rolled out to other areas of the

Continued funding for the project became and issue and Carpenters Connect has become

8.5     RegenTV

The principal partners in RegenTV are Newham Council, Newham.Net, IBM, Home2Home,
and the East Thames Housing Association. is a “not for profit” social enterprise
that is probably the world’s smallest ISP, telecommunication company and broadcaster. It was
responsible for creating the prototype Internet Protocol TV service on which RegenTV is built
and has managed its operation since November 2002.

RegenTV has taken the Carpenters Connect prototype – and largely through now
collaborating with IBM converted it into an Open Source product and service model that can
be deployed on a scalable basis. The owners say it will enable local authorities and other
social landlords to provide video-based interactive e-government services to residents and
manage truly local TV channels providing content for and by local people.

According to the project managers, RegenTV will allow local authorities and housing
associations to deliver a unique service to their tenants and will ensure that they are in a
position to exploit the potential of IPTV. This will be achieved both through the software
product and also through guides explaining its use and how to involve residents in content
creation, thereby helping to secure the social inclusion benefits achievable through this

The system runs on a resilient and scalable Linux platform, and all services are delivered over
IP (Internet Protocol) via building-wide Ethernet cabling or standard TV coaxial cabling to
the homes. Applications are hosted on back end servers and ‘free to air’ TV stations take a
feed from local satellite antennae. The in home system comprises a set top box running
browser software and MPEG decoder, a wireless keyboard and remote control. IBM brings its
extensive digital media services expertise to the project, backed up by industry leading
hardware (IBM eServer xSeries and eServer BladeCenter). As RegenTV software runs on
Linux, it offers a low cost, single platform solution that reduces on-going support and licence

The project will deliver a unique product through GCAT/SCAT channels. This comprises
hardware specifications to enable straightforward purchase of the equipment, Open Source
software along with specifications of some commercial software where Open Source products
are unavailable, plus technical and system administration documentation. An indicative
business case to support an implementation of the system is available.

Also included will be a community engagement manual, job specifications for staff to support
the system, and training course material, implementation guidance in Prince2 format: in short,
everything required for a local authority to be able to implement an instance of the project for
themselves. A full evaluation report by Middlesex University on the social benefits, based on
the beta trials on the New Union Wharf estate run in Tower Hamlets by the East Thames
Housing Association, will also be available.

The IPTV service still runs on the Carpenters Estate in Newham and serves more than 300
homes (70% of those possible) being operational for about two years. It delivers video on
demand, internet access, email, an estate intranet, multiplayer video games, a ‘PC on TV’
service and ‘free to air’ TV channels to residents’ TVs, with the familiarity of a known
interface – the TV. A key element of the service has been the creation of local video content
produced with a high degree of resident involvement. The service as a whole has shown
significant social cohesion advantages, including a reduction in crime and graffiti.

Research by Leeds Metropolitan University into the project showed that 95% of those with
access to the system used it to access local information. 17% of these had been directly
involved in the creation of such content.

8.5.1    Comment

As before the service is reliant on a non traditional broadcast STB (Sky, Freeview or Cable)
and utilises an IPTV STB. It is understood that the vendor has changed from Pace but
regardless of brand would still be more expensive. Use of Linux affords the Project a cheaper
licence free alternative. However it also gives potential for a less controlled infrastructure
with more technical aware people creating or downloading open source software

It is apparent that those leading the Carpenters/RegenTV initiative are particularly well versed
in the computing and Internet arena. They appear to have gone for a very feature rich solution
that complies with their knowledge of what is available in the Internet domain and tried to sell
the concept to the local citizens. This has required a number of public meeting/training
sessions that would not necessarily be available in the real world where consumers will have
to acquire their own DTV solutions. More work could have been done in exploring what the
local population wanted and needed and then provide a service to match.

More positively, as the major developments in broadband roll out, new compression
techniques and IPTV services continue, the RegenTV project could benefit and become a
more significant demonstrator of how IPTV can be applied in the Public Sector.

It is reasonable to surmise that the system has led to a significant increase in resident
knowledge of local issues and has encouraged local action. The system has also played a key
role in facilitating consultation on the refurbishment of tower blocks on the estate under the
Council’s master planning process.

8.6      ODPM / DigiTV: Local Authorities

This Kirklees Metropolitan Council managed project continues to be the way to DiTV for
many local authorities. The ability to use a common starter kit and templates to derive a quick
and tested means of proving enhanced and Interactive TV has attracted many. Moreover, the
opportunity to become part of a twelve authority cluster and make considerable savings on the

otherwise individual carriage charge for Sky and cable platforms is a core driver. More on the
DigiTV Starter kit is carried in section 10.

Local Authorities who have utilized the Starter Kit so far are included in Appendix A.

8.6.1     Most significant developments from the DigiTV Project

The following outlines recent highlights from Local Authority initiatives utilising DigiTV /
Starter Kit platform.


Bolton LA has found that a big pull on their service came from people looking for housing
information. By placing all available council properties on their site each week, and
advertising that the information was available on TV before the local newspaper - their site
saw dramatic increases in usage. They are now looking to integrate the Starter Kit with their
choice based lettings service so that the information is always 'live' on TV.

Plug-ins - GP appointments

The most significant plug-in is the delivery of GP appointments on TV. Working with the
company that has nearly 60% of all UK surgeries using its software, the system enables users
to book, cancel and review GP appointments. The savings to the surgery are significant along
with improved service to those still using more traditional methods (phone). From a user
perspective the benefits are easy to see with users being able to book appointments at times
that suit them, without the need to deal with an often harassed receptionist. The technology is
now in place to enable some 4500 surgeries in the UK to be enabled on DiTV via the DigiTV
Starter Kit. The service is being piloted in 6 surgeries in South Yorkshire and is now ready for
wider rollout. In one case, the surgery is now getting over 45% of its appointments via either
web or DiTV.

Other plug-ins

Housing Benefits - allowing users to check the status of their housing benefit claim via TV.
Savings for the council in terms of phone calls and walk-ins and improved access to
information for the customer.

Waste Collection - the single biggest reason for calls into Barnsley's call centre. Users can
now check to find out what day their bins are collected dynamically.

Air Quality - users can find out the Air Quality readings for the day by postcode; a key issue
in the old mining areas of South Yorkshire.

School Noticeboard - allowing parents to securely log-on to TV and find out truancy records,
homework set and other school notices. This is due to go live across the Sheffield LEA this

Plug-ins in the pipeline include Payments (council tax, rent, parking fines etc), Library
services (booking and renewing), Job search, Transport (Transport Direct - travel news, bus
stop info, route planning) amongst others. All plug-ins are being built on a 'free to use' basis
for each LA engaged with DigiTV.

Marketing – DigiTV Management have found the more they tell users that the services exist,
the more they use them. No real surprise there. However, a cable interactive marketing
campaign in the Spring saw a 1000% increase in traffic.

8.7      Public Sector DiTV Initiatives decline

Many of the local authority pilots above have been concluded with no further funding
attributed to them, such as the Somerset and Suffolk pathfinder initiatives.

Some DiTV trials have clearly been implemented under short term objectives and principally
to capitalize on available budgets. Some of these appear to have been founded on the DigiTV
Starter Kit purely due to it being a simple, one stop shop by which the short term
objectives/budget could be achieved. This gave rise to a number of projects being tactical
with no long term strategies. No particular consideration was given to which platform or
products to use and critically any association with longer term DTV or eGovt initiatives.

A notable exception has been seen in the South Yorkshire “e@syconnects TV” initiatives.
The manager Gary Simpson has been particularly enthusiastic in pushing for solutions and
marketing them intensively to the relevant communities. The “e@syconnects TV” project has
been named as an “e-Government Excellence” finalist in the e-Government National Awards.
This can be linked at least in part to Gary Simpson continuously looking at the options
available and pushing for a solution that meets his citizen’s needs.

Significant Central Government DiTV initiatives have also been closed. A notable case is the
DWP Pensions advice service. This ran on the Sky and cable platforms until September 2003.
Pam Gair a senior manager for the project advised that the project was shelved due to the high
costs for platform carriage versus small levels of usage at a time when the DWP had more
important budget demands.

In order to reach the largest number of potential users of the service, the DWP decided to
launch the service on NTL, Telewest and Sky. They found developing the service for Sky was
the most complex and costly. This was compounded by the untimely loss of Energis as a
project partner. All the service information on the Sky platform sat in the broadcast stream for
a fixed price. Interactive features were through dial-up. Putting video into the broadcast
stream in Sky was expensive in terms of bandwidth costing £14,000 per month for a 7 minute
video. The video was quickly removed.

To comply with the law and to reach more potential users of the service, the service needed to
be available in Welsh. While this came earlier on cable, getting a live Welsh service on Sky
proved problematic. DWP had to contemplate running a separate solution whereby, if a user
specifically requested a Welsh version of the service, they had to dial-up using a free
telephone number and get the content though the post.

Critically, the take up via the Sky Interactive service proved to be markedly much lower than
expected. DWP found it far easier to work with the cable operators than with Sky.

As well as analysing MIS, the DWP commissioned MORI to conduct a qualitative evaluation
of the DiTV Pensions Service. Figures to the end of July 2003 showed approximately 246,000
visits were made to the service. Some of those were repeat visits as people returned to order
further leaflets or to find out more information. Of the total number of visits, around 128,000
came from the cable arena, mainly after September 2002 when marketing began (6,000 before
September). The technology did not allow DWP to accurately collect data for satellite access
but by looking at the number of interactive transactions received from satellite DWP estimate
a minimum of 118,000 accessed the service via satellite in the period since October 2002.

Interactive transactions resulted in almost 13,000 leaflets requested between September 2002
and July 2003 from around 5,000 requests. 67 “Ask A Question” enquiries were made and
only 167 online surveys completed.

Interestingly, while the Sky service was available to many more households than both the
cable platforms put together, a large percentage of interactive service usage came from the
cable platform. This was attributed to the cable interactive service not tying up a telephone

DWP cannot stress enough the need to effectively market any Digital television service. The
peaks and troughs of usage can be directly correlated with marketing activity levels. DWP
focussed on marketing towards existing digital television subscribers and to this end took out
adverts in the Sky magazine. These cost £12,000 and were not sufficiently successful. NTL
were interested in publishing a two page spread on how to use DiTV, with the Pensions
Service as an example within the article, which was much more successful.

DWP found banner adverts to be the most effective; along with using the Sky Red Button.
The latter allowed viewers of the Pensions Service TV advertisements the option of pressing
the red button during the advert to request a leaflet. While successful, it was an expensive
exercise as the TV advert necessarily has to be the last in the slot - that last slot being the most

8.8      Cabinet Office e-GU focus shift

The last two years has seen a marked shift of focus for the e-Government Unit (formerly the
Office of the eEnvoy). From espousing that public sector organisations should explore DiTV
as a potential means of electronic service delivery, they have experienced the realities of the
entertainment based focus of the TV versus the needs for eGovernment.

At a technology level they are focused more towards the mobile phone and associated sectors
as a more suitable means of personalised ESD communications with individuals. Their core
interest now seems to be more tactical than strategic and maximising cost savings/benefits for
any approach to the citizen.

Government based Mobile phone related services have been targeted by a number of public
service bodies.

8.8.1    New SMS text service to make recycling easier in London

The 16th September 2005 has seen the latest in a new e-government-by-phone text service
launched by the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, to make recycling even easier for

The text service from Recycle for London is the first of its kind in the country and residents in
the capital will be able to request details of when their recycling is collected or where their
nearest recycling facilities are, all by texting RECYCLE and their full postcode to the number
63131. There is also a direct link in the text message to their local recycling helpline so
residents in each London borough can order their recycling box or bag immediately if they
have not yet got one.

The text service has been built by Incentivated Limited and integrates the Company’s online
Mobile Marketing platform called ‘iris’ with the Recycle for London database of up to date
recycling information across all the Greater London boroughs. The service is available across
all the mobile networks and handles the vagaries of the recycling schemes in each borough,
intelligently integrating into the text message the different materials collected as well as
borough contact details.

The announcement comes at the start of a new advertising campaign by Recycle for London,
where a series of adverts will be displayed on buses, tubes and posters across the capital from
today to promote the new text service and encourage Londoners to recycle more.

In recent research 27 per cent of Londoners admitted to ICM Research that they were unsure
about which day their recycling is collected. Recycle for London is urging Londoners to text
63131 to find out about the different materials which can be recycled and when they should
be putting their recycling boxes and bags out.

8.9      Comparison Tables

The two tables below compare the Scottish Executive DiTV trial against other current
Government and Local Authority initiatives. Also included are the Sky e-Portal and DigiTV
Starter Kits to help identify their abilities as a possible alternative for the Scottish Executive
Skydigital based service to transfer to

The first table includes bullet text to help identify the measurement criteria. The second table
is simply a representation of the first but with scores attributed and totalled to identify how
each DiTV trial /portal compares with the others.

The scoring attributed in the tables above is based on the contents and guidance running
through this report and clearly indicates why some have performed better than others.

The DFES “Teachers’ “TV” services stands apart from others but it has to be acknowledged
that as one of the most recent Public Sector DiTV implementations the organisers have clearly
benefited through learning from earlier initiatives and mistakes. Prior to introducing their
service, the DFES management actively attended the various Departmental quarterly DTV
Working Groups and engaged consultants who in turn called on advice from industry.

The high score for Teachers TV is largely derived from the service being truly platform
neutral - being offered on all broadcast platforms. They have recognised the shortfalls of DTT
spectrum availability and addressed by standard consumer PVR solutions. Importantly they
have generated TV based programming with interlinked enhanced and interactive elements,
focused to their core target base and via standard products.

The second and third placed e@SYConnects and ODPM DigiTV Starter Kit services are
clearly closely matched as a result of the former being derived from the latter. However, as a
product/service aimed at various local authority initiatives the DigiTV project’s marketing
could not be as focused as that conducted by South Yorkshire’s management to particular
groups that their pre trial research investigated. It is worth reiterating how the proactive and
ongoing marketing by the e@SYConnects management has helped their DiTV success, not
least in the GP’s surgeries arena.

While it is not a Government DiTV service, the Sky e-Portal was included to show its
respective merits and less positive elements. It should be noted that while its score is lower
than that for its nearest competitor - the DigiTV Starter kit, this is as a result of no scores
being listed in three (grey) areas. The low cost, directly managed and resourced Sky solution
may offset any issues of working with the vertical market based operator.

The lowest score attributed to the Scottish Executive is clearly associated with there also
being no scores attributed to areas that were not known or unclear. With these properly
addressed the score would improve but not necessarily to overtake the others listed. In many
ways the Scottish Executive initiative is similar to the higher scored NHS Direct service –both
only being based on Skydigital.

However, this is more of a short term step only for the DH led initiative. Intensive research of
all platforms capabilities was run by the DH before the NHS Direct TV service went live.
They have recognised the issues around limited demand and for providing a two way
interactive service and had the foresight to launch an enhanced one way only service first
while continuing to explore how richer services could be developed.

The Carpenters/RegenTV pilot has been scored low close to the Scottish Executive pilot but
for very different reasons. The former has taken a very technical and PC oriented approach
built on expensive and proprietary technologies that cannot be easily transferred to larger
areas across the country. Having said this, if they continue to develop their IPTV based
initiatives in line with anticipated broadband network, product and service developments over
the next 3-5 years the score would be considerably better if a similar exercise was taken then.

9        Public Services via Interactive TV
This section considers the current market background and circumstances arising that will
impact the potential for UK DiTV and draws upon research made by the Henley Centre and
presented at the September 2003 London Business School event.

Key areas for consideration in the development of DiTV services are addressed and related
directly to the DiTV pilot.

9.1      Context

Henley Research’s Andrew Curry advised that our lives are becoming more irregular. We
now live full “modal” lives so our days follow non-traditional paths. In short, we aren’t where
we used to be during the day. More time is attributed to socializing with others through
visiting friends, visiting the restaurant/pub, going shopping or playing sports. As a result less
leisure time can be spent at home to utilise digital TV equipment.

As a result of the above, we tend to “squeeze up” our media consumption. Portable and work-
based media stretch into the day. Such includes everything from reading the newspaper,
listening to the radio or other portable music devices. With many homes now having PCs or
workers being supplied laptops, a greater tendency to extend the working day takes place.
Home-based media use such as TV viewing, is increasingly squeezed later into the evening.

Against this background of “squeezed consumption” there has been a torrent of supply. Many
more TV and radio stations have been introduced for people to view or listen to. Similarly the
rate that new DVD and CDs are released has ramped up dramatically.

Regularly various compilations of what appear to be the same tracks are now being released.
On top of this, every other weekend there appears to be a free CD or DVD issued with one
paper or another.

Even printed material itself has increased in many new magazines being introduced. Since
Christmas adverts on TV have promoted “collectible” magazines offering readers everything
from building dolls houses, making cupboards and even a model of the Red Baron’s famous
World War 1 biplane!

Of course, the last 12 months has seen phenomenal growth in illegal and legal music
downloads and latterly podcasts each to be consumed on a rapidly growing base of MP3
capable devices As well as these more home and personal oriented formats, there has been
growth in the number of cinemas and screens to draw from peoples’ limited leisure time.

As a consequence of the above, the commonly held and long established view that “content is
king” is being challenged by some. As expressed in a recent FT article by Calum Chase of
KPMG’s strategic and commercial intelligence group, content has arguably been overruled by
the power of distribution. This issue is widening as more products are being created that
enable the owner to control the distribution of what is to be consumed.

Mr. Chase referred to BSkyB’s dominance in digital non-terrestrial TV as a clear illustration
of the case for context. BSkyB’s rise was supported by exclusive access to sports (content),
but now it owns a unique point of access (distribution) to more than seven million UK homes,
giving it the power of “life or death” over content owners seeking access to viewers.

There is a massive pool of content and other information available. Those people, companies
and technologies that filter the material and picked out the most important bits became
powerful. However this selection process is changing. Instead of publishers and broadcasters
making all the editorial decisions, citizens are starting to exercise control. The change is not
obvious because some of the technologies, devices and business models are being delayed by
natural conservatism on the part of citizens and business interests.


TiVo arrived with great hype a couple of years ago, expecting to transform the way viewers
consume TV. Its withdrawal from the UK market in 2004 was a humiliating reversal, and a
testament to the difficulty of selling the benefits of a radically different way of doing things.
However, personal video recorder (PVR) technology is likely to become entrenched over the
next year or two, driven by Sky+, new Freeview and possibly Cable variants. Citizens will
increasingly be able to view what they want, when they want, and the content will thereby
become contextually oriented.

3G is another hyped technology the launch of which has disappointed technophiles and
delighted the cynics. But 2.5G is doing very well. Mobile phone operators are building up
appetites for targeted digital content on the move. An example of contextualisation here is
that the content served up over mobile networks will become increasingly geography-specific,
with citizens asking for the nearest car park, flower seller, toilet or non-smoking bar.

A clear example of context becoming king is the music industry. Freed from the constraints of
buying music in pre-packaged albums, citizens are increasingly downloading tracks according
to their mood and situation.

Citizens will have access to a huge and busy world of highly relevant information, available at
the touch of a button. Producing “must-have” content and having powerful distribution
channels is no longer enough. Content must be relevant and appropriate to get through the

With Skydigital being the leading platform, the Scottish Executive’s use of it was
understandable. However with this comes the problem of strict vertical marketing and
technical controls by BSkyB. The need for fully compliant 3rd party development with tested
applications before the operator sanctioned carriage on their service caused the Scottish
Executive to suffer unhelpful delays. As Sky focuses on consumer marketing the onus was on
the Scottish Executive to promote the service to users. This was particularly pertinent as an
eve increasing array of technologies and more compelling content was put in front of the
target citizens.

9.2      Customisation

9.2.1    Human factors

Work in local government focus groups orchestrated by eGU/ODPM indicated that a
capability to personalize the look and feel of menus and EPG’s would be welcomed by users.
This is particularly pertinent to those with colour blindness issues. The yellow on blue
configuration utilized by Sky has been reported as a real concern for some. However the
numbers of such people may be insufficient commercially to persuade Sky to offer
alternatives. Red and Green colour blindness tends to be more typical and perhaps more
worthy of addressing especially as it could raise some issues around “press the red key

A focus group meeting on usability /elderly related matters indicated that a common issue
among the older community was an inability to clearly read the EPGs, menus and teletext
pages. Many older people would welcome the ability to increase the font size to address this.

9.2.2    Personalisation

While having the individual ability to adjust settings such as those mentioned above may be
attractive to users, this raises issues for service providers. Fundamentally, the very nature of
broadcasting is one of delivering the same service to many or all viewers rather than
individuals. Consequently personalized services do not fit readily into operators’ thinking.

Vertical market operators such as Sky and the cable companies have put much effort into
creating standardized EPGs and other “look and feel” aspects of their hardware and software.
This is to ensure that they minimize any differentiated variants that could cause problems or
add cost for their customer and engineering support areas.

Conversely this enables them to gain maximum promotional/marketing strength as well as
buying power when negotiating with manufacturer partners.

Sky would indicate that they designed the EPG with ease of use in mind too. As well as
aiding users it would help minimize calls to help desks or product returns. Based on an
IPSOS-RSL DART Survey in April 2002 of all Skydigital subscribers at the time, they have
been successful.

The survey showed that 77% of Sky Digital viewers knew how to use the EPG. 93% were
satisfied with the EPG and 83% thought it was is easy to use.

As STB processing power increases and hard disk storage becomes more common, such
devices will move closer to standard PC technology footprints. As a result and as generating
more new and attractive broadcast services become more difficult, operators may then choose
to offer added control to the viewer. As with PCs and Microsoft software, the ability to
change fonts, colours, icons, layout could become more of a reality.

What is noticeable in the launch of new PC based ISP packages such as offered in the new
AOL V8.0 variant is an increased level of personalization for individual family members such
as wallpapers etc, linked closely with security aspects such as webpage blocks or similar on
un-requested pop-ups etc.

The look and feel of the Skydigital interface remains under the control of BSkyB.
Consequently, the Scottish Executive or their target base had little scope to make any
adjustments to benefit their use. The same issue also arises with Cable as NTL and Telewest
who also exert similar vertical marketing controls to include the look and feel of their
services. However, the horizontal marketing of Freeview DTT could have benefited the
Scottish Executive. While no Freeview DTT receivers offer major adjustment capabilities –
the large range of receivers, with different menu implementations could have presented
different choices as may have been preferred by the users.

9.2.3    Languages

A common feature found on many free to view digital satellite receivers (non-Sky) is that of
menus that can be configured for a number of different languages. This is pertinent when such
products are marketed globally, to many different nationalities. Typically a minimum of
around 9 key languages is supported to include French, German, Spanish, and Italian. Some
products with increased memory also carry Chinese (Mandarin) or other languages that
require display of radically different fonts or characters.

The ethnic community here in the UK could benefit from a similar feature on UK product
especially if forms of customization or mandatory install procedures are developed. Having
the ability to access menus in their mother language may help them move to digital and
particularly DTT more readily.

Such a capability being carried on DTT products could be an issue especially when there are
currently no foreign TV channels being carried arguably reducing the justification. More
importantly the low cost solutions with reduced memory may not be able to support the
concept, especially if languages required focus on those with different fonts/characters such as
Chinese or Arabic.

The Scottish Executive DiTV trial may have benefited from use of different languages to
include the ethnic minority communities

9.2.4    Individual Addressability

Already some means of personalization exists - at least in satellite and cable based products.
Such products carry a unique “burnt in” code in the product memory. In the case of Sky
digital each is matched to a specific smartcard number. Both are attributed to a specific
person/home through completion of the form in the Sky subscription process. The cable
operators have similar controls through their subscription routines as well as direct one to one
connection with the home via the cable itself.

Freeview DTT models typically do not carry such a feature. However, work conducted by
DTG /TDN on baseline receiver specifications calls for this feature as a standard requirement
going forward. Furthermore, the recent moves by the DVB Steering Board on approving

requirements for Multimedia Messaging over DVB will need STBs and IDTVs to carry
addressability and authentication capabilities to support such services.

Operators will probably aim to use such individual addressability more to track each box’s
usage and location, than to enable citizens more control. Critically, this ability will be greatly
hampered on DTT where no contract completion is required to associate a box with a
particular user.

If citizens did make adjustments to their receiver and came into difficulty, they could benefit
from the operator being able to address the specific product to reload clean new software back
into it. The ongoing capability in this area is obviously subject to the processor and other
components performance limits.

The ability for broadcasters to address and update individual receivers in homes may cause
concern for users. Some may resent information on their viewing habits and other personal
information being monitored by the broadcasters.

Some more technically savvy Skydigital users may have recognised the unique addressability
elements of their receiver. If not already being concerned about BSkyB themselves accessing
and using the receiver specific data, they may have feared the Scottish Executive DiTV
initiatives could develop further into more “big brother” elements – i.e. ‘spying’ on them .

9.2.5    Alerts

A “customisation” area still to be developed is that of alert systems. Assuming commercial
interest could be raised from industry to support a means of postcode or other entry into
receivers and also for transmitting associated warning triggers to the box, there is the
fundamental issue of whether users would actually customize (entering the post code) their
receiver. This is particularly pertinent to the less technically aware older citizens who are one
of the primary groups, most would view as needing an alerts feature.

It is unlikely that many in this section of the community could manage to enter the
appropriate code themselves. This raises potential installation cost factors particularly when
such people do not have friends and family to do the code entry for them.

Retailers may reject the concept of setting the postcode in the product at the point of
purchase. Many deploy “pile them high” / “self serve” techniques on the basis of the retail
price/margin being insufficient to allow staff to undertake intensive set up and sales
procedures. This is akin to a similar issue seen before in completion of Sky subscription

Issues may arise through dealers not wishing to unnecessarily pack and programme products
that may be returned through poor reception etc.

Some purchasers of products may resent any mandatory input of personal data to enable alerts
and other messages to be received by their products. An “opt in /opt out” facility is an obvious
solution, but may cause issues for operators in terms of even more different
hardware/software variants and increased customer service support costs.

Generating industry interest in the whole area of alert messages by DTV is currently proving
difficult. Many think that the personal attributes of a mobile phone are better placed to handle

the typically localised alerts messages than DTV that is obviously more broadcast (point to
multipoint) centric.

The DVB Steering Board’s moves in June 2003 to approve the Commercial Module’s
recommendations on requirements for support of Multimedia Messaging (Photos) on DTV
terminals may force the issue. To support such MMS services requires receiver addressability
and authentication elements.

The primary virtue of broadcasting is the ability for a single information source to be served
to many interested people at the same time. The use of DiTV by the Scottish Executive to
provide more niche based non entertainment services has seen little take up of such. Other
technology platforms provide more compelling means for individuals to interact and conduct

9.3     Security

The whole issue of security and personal data protection remains as the largest barrier to any
form of personalization or unique addressability being offered.

The initial DiTV offering from the Scottish Executive may not have included content or
sought interactivity with their target users that raised content and data protection issues.

ID card Links?

The work being led by the Home Office on personal ID cards and such being carried by all
UK citizens offers some potential strong synergies with those active in the DTV arena. While
it is acknowledged that such an ID card concept largely faces public rejection, there are a
number of key areas that could benefit from ID card solutions.

A number of Government departments have expressed strong interest in capitalizing on any
such cards and integrating them into their service platforms. The cards could be used to
enable access and logon to PCs or in kiosks planned by local authorities.

Similarly subject to open standards based protocols such ID cards could be used in DTV
products to ease individual user identity and enable them to access their own personalized
EPG listings and individually personalized menus etc. Such could extend to bank and other
private data directly linked to their own ID card alone.

Such a concept is currently somewhat “pie in the sky” and hindered by low powered memory
in STBs, IDTVs and limited number of PVR based solutions. However, both issues are
expected to addressed and delivered as a matter of course through current manufacturers’

The security issue does not extend to personal data protection alone, but also into areas of
content rights management and authorised access of programming and other subscription
based material.

Citizens and other’s concerns about ID card and their costs have been well documented. As
and when ID cards begin to be introduced by the Government, many may recognise the

benefits they can bring. However, for such to be used in the Skydigital domain would need a
lot of hard work and agreement from BSkyB who may reject their commercial business model
being impacted and platform security control being lost. If the Government based ID card
could enable purchase of services, BSkyB may then be interested. As reported in this
document, they have partnered with Barclaycard and the resulting Skycard enables auto
transfer of funds to get Sky services.

Mobile Phone SIM Cards?

Valuable work has already been conducted between the Home Office and The Mobile Phone
Industry to block use of stolen mobile phones as well as maintaining user’s personal security

With the advent of substantial DTV and SMS combination service developments, there may
be merit in extending this to the phone SIM acting as the access card /personal ID to STB

Further, the mobile phone could also act as some form of payTV solution for Freeview with
services ordered being charged to the mobile phone bill. This was piloted in the Xtraview TV
trial service from Top-Up TV (TUTV) the pay service operator for the UK DTT platform.
The service required no smartcard but relied on the user calling a phone number to register for
one day’s viewing of TUTV services. The charge was £1 per day via BT landline calls or
more subject to other network operator charges.

Sky digital boxes do have unique addressability that could have benefited Scottish Executive’s
aspirations for more one to one transactions and interactivity. However television viewing is
typically a shared activity and not a personalised medium in the same way as the PC/Internet
or mobile phones.

9.4     Choice

A major difference between analogue and DTV is the massive amount of choice open to the

Gone are the days when they could rest in the knowledge that any TV they chose to purchase
would deliver the same 5 basic channels, teletext and other common extras such as Nicam or
more recently Dolby surround. Now with digital they face a whole range of different
platforms, number and range of channels, levels of interactivity, subscription package costs
and all linked with products’ varying abilities to support any of these.

Much work needs to be done to simplify this issue, not least when major marketing
communications are proposed by Government and industry through “Digital UK”

In many ways, choosing which platform has been made simpler through the satellite, cable
and terrestrial platforms becoming more differentiated in terms of their product offerings.
That being said, new moves being considered by industry could worsen the situation again.
Such would include the planned moves to a Freesat based solution from the BBC /ITV or
non-subscription based deals from BSkyB or cable operators. There are also the emerging
new technologies to consider notably HDTV, IPTV.

Rather than trying to cover everything, government departments should build on the major
elements that can be differentiated across each platform. Such might include:

        •    Delivery method: aerial, dish, cable or telephony

        •    Service: Subscription or Free to view

        •    Resolution: Standard or High Definition

        •    Number of channels:

        •    Themes: Sports, Movies, News, General Entertainment

        •    Interactive levels: enhanced 1 way, Interactive 2 way, Internet enabled

        •    Number of SCARTs.

Ideally the use of logos could be deployed to provide simple graphic references to help
citizens’ choose their preferred option.

Citizens typically choose to only engage with Government when they have to. Those that
wanted to may have chosen to continue with more trusted routes to Government services or
selected a more appropriate technology than the Scottish Executive DiTV service offered.

9.4.1   Confidence

The citizens lack of knowledge about digital impacts their confidence to buy a product or
service. Many would feel more disposed to choosing a product if they could rest in the
knowledge that there was a means of adding functionality later, through software upgrades
etc. Also some may gain confidence in knowing they can personalize the look and feel to
more closely match their needs.

People tend to be nervous about anything new. The Scottish Executive and indeed other
Government DiTV initiatives that appeared two to three years ago would have undoubtedly
been hindered by the collapse of ITV Digital in April 2002, emergence of Freeview in the
following October, plus Cable industry losses and mergers. This would have heightened
peoples concerns over whether the DTV technology and services were sound. Even Sky digital
as a longer established and profitable operation was seen by many as a young upstart
company that did not match the trusted status of “good old aunty” – the BBC. If the
opportunity had existed for Government DiTV services to be delivered via the BBC things
may have been different – indeed the success of Freeview DTT to date can largely be
attributed to the BBC being seen as the leading marcoms voice for it.

9.4.2    Continuity

It is apparent that some citizens are “waiting for things to settle” before making a move to

Many do not want to make the wrong choice, anticipating a “betamax versus VHS”
equivalent between digital platforms. This has been fuelled further by some poorly informed
retail staff who themselves recommend the citizen waits before purchasing. Some in the retail
industry have consistently marketed that all platforms will coexist and highlighted the
service/package differences. Others however, view this as a time intensive exercise especially
when the value of a DTV sale is small and they are tasked with achieving high targets.

Citizens and others need to be educated that DTV technology and all its formats so that a
product can be purchased with confidence.

The short term pilot/trial nature of the Scottish Executive DiTV initiative may have caused
some to reject using the service through not wanting to get locked into something that may
disappear. Those that did access the service may have been disappointed to find the service
continued to show the same material and was not as dynamic as expected

9.4.3    Programme & software updates

Another major difference between analogue and digital TV is the ability for DTV receivers or
services to be updated – effectively extending the life of a product for longer – subject to the
processor and other components’ abilities.

More could possibly be made of this feature, to help boost citizen’s confidence and potential
purchasing of products.

On the other hand, concerns may be generated over the product not working as before,
channels/settings being lost, products having to be left on to receive downloads etc.
Manufacturers and retailers may have concerns over lost opportunities for sales of new
models when constantly having to provide update software for old models.

Having upgraded their receiver, citizens may welcome the “safety” of a “go back” facility
offering the chance to return back to their original settings if the new update is seen as less
attractive. However, this could add unwanted product differentiation for operators trying to
maintain a common look and feel or aiming to minimize support service cost

Rather than perceiving software downloads as a benefit, many see the adding of new software
as “fixing something that’s not quite right.” This is particularly pertinent to older users who
have previously bought things that are “built to last”. It is anticipated that many of those
engaged to take part in the Scottish Executive trial would have been put off by any visibility
of the delayed launch / move to a PC demonstrator while 3rd party software development
/SSSL sign off was conducted.

9.4.4    Peripherals

Citizen, manufacturer and retailer concerns could all be addressed by deploying some form of
“off the shelf” peripheral /“plug-in” devices, akin to use of a floppy disk, CD disk, games,
SIM’s etc.

Manufacturers could benefit by selling such peripherals as extra product lines to
retailers/distributors and help offset their support costs through use of such products.

As with selling games consoles, phones, PC s etc - retailers could benefit from sales of new
products to satisfy citizens’ and their own concerns over product performance etc. This would
help reduce call outs, returns etc. They could show increased citizen support by having a
small upgrade area in store where citizens could bring their product and hook up to another
receiver or download device, perhaps even on a self-serve basis.

Similar could be offered by local authorities, not least those providing receivers to their
community base. Providing an upgrade station at the town hall or elsewhere could enable new
services to be incorporated or repairs to existing ones and save on costs for handling visits/
telephone calls.

Citizens may be more confident in knowing they can either upgrade their product or even
return it to a lower level as before if preferred. As mentioned in the previous section, this
could raise issues for operators or indeed local authorities keen to retain a common look and
feel for their products and services.

Transmission/ broadcast providers could benefit in less bandwidth being required to offer
software upgrades over the night etc.

Use of Skydigital for Scottish Executive service access would have largely been ignored by
target citizens when facing different means of contacting the Government and continue to use
the wide choice of more compelling entertainment services on offer. Furthermore citizens
would not have appreciated the opportunity to select the DiTV option with little or no
continued marketing by the Scottish Executive or importantly if the Skydigital portal was not
updated regularly to only give the same choice of services as seen months before.

9.5      Credibility

The integrity and trustworthiness of those advocating a move to DTV will be extremely
important elements for ensuring citizens actually migrate. This extends across industry from
government, broadcasters, manufacturers, to retailers. Without such Government departments
and agencies cannot establish a base of suitable receivers to target their services to.

There are significant percentages of the population that indicate they will never make a move
to digital. This can be attributed in part to some believing that switchover will not happen – or
at least within timelines reported. Any cases of dates slipping or government missing other
targets will impact this further.

DTV is no different to any other product or service being marketed. Usual adoption cycles
will apply. All go through the same take up routes, from early adopters to early and late
majorities and finally to laggards or late adopters (to include older and poorer population

OFCOM statistics now reveal that DTV adoption is well advanced and moving through the
late majority stage and closer to those who will be reluctant to adopt – not least the groups
that are heavy users of council and other public services.

                                         Source: OFCOM July 2005

Many of the communities have previously been persuaded to purchase other products through
trusted elements such as brands, spokespersons and friends. Such should be used to help
digital penetration.

The heavyweight BBC support for the launch of Freeview and to date has clearly develop the
subsequent high DTT sales and is a clear example of a trusted brand assisting take up. As a
“new arrogant kid on the block” Sky struggled for many years to persuade middle England to
adopt its services. However each year it is seen to achieve its targets and deliver a reliable
service respect and trust in it has grown.

Some long established companies serving the older community have called on similarly aged
and respected TV personalities to help market their wares to older more cautious citizens.
From Thora Hird previously promoting Stannah stairlifts, Frank Windsor promoting funeral
plans and Gloria Hunniford doing likewise for healthcare all have helped take up by the older

Family, friends and close neighbours buying products then conveying their positive
experience is another surefire means of supporting take up by others. Skydigital take up by
older elements has definitely been helped by younger family members taking it first and
showing how good it is to parents etc.

 Some users would not reconcile the use of a commercial profit making organisation to
manage more personal and private elements. Many especially the elderly cannot clearly
comprehend how technology can address their needs and still turn to their trusted visits or
calls to Government offices.

9.6     Convenience

9.6.1   Purchase experience

The rate of technology change has accelerated dramatically since the launch of television in
1936. However, until the launch of DTV the basic purchase proposition was very similar. The
move to DTV while bringing many new features and benefits, is not as convenient as
analogue for many users – not least the older groups that been entrenched in analogue
technology for many years.

For example when buying a new TV prior to the introduction of digital alternatives, the user
could visit any retailer and select a TV based on hardware issues alone, i.e. design, size,
colour etc. All sets were known to deliver the same number of channels and services.

Today with digital, the citizen has to determine what service platform is best placed for them,
understand the different channel line-ups, subscription charges, features, understand new
terminology and differences, level of upgradeability etc. Typically, most retailers do not help
this situation by clearly identifying the features that are carried and manufacturers don’t
necessarily train retailers sufficiently to understand the differences.

Government departments wishing to capitalise on DTV purchases made by citizens should
play a significant role in educating their target base on what and what not to purchase.

The key message for the Scottish Executive is that educating their target base is vital to them
accepting, trusting and using DiTV. Unfortunately, to date the consumer retail environment
has done little in this area. Most simply show DTV receivers as “dead boxes” and not
powered to show services and configuration processes. Furthermore, they typically do not
advise clearly on the different platforms that are available, reception performance and
services on offer, With the Government announcement on the 15th September 2005
confirming UK Switchover and the launch of Digital UK this is anticipated will improve
going forward but very much focused on the commercial/entertainment elements.

9.6.2   Subtitles

From the perspective of social inclusion and the importance of including the hearing
impaired. Access to subtitles has become less convenient through digital for some than
previously experienced with analogue.

From being able to simply select Page 888 on analogue teletext, some owners of digital
adaptors struggle to locate equivalent digital solutions.

While most if not all adaptors now support DVB subtitling, some do not carry a direct access
key on the remote control. The user has to go through the onscreen menu and perhaps two or
three layers to switch subtitles on.

If not altering the factory set mode on some models, the user faces the issue of having to
reapply subtitles each time after powering the receiver up.

9.6.3    Teletext

According to Teletext Ltd, they still have a weekly reach on analogue TV of 18.5 million
viewers and rake in £80m a year, largely because one in 10 Britons book their holiday via its
text pages, and advertisers pay Teletext Ltd handsomely to get to that audience.

Radical differences existed between the analogue teletext experience and that of digital
teletext. Many users continued to use the former, as it is more convenient, especially for those
who have memorized the relevant 3-digit page number.

Of those who have moved to digital TV solutions, many continue to switch back to analogue
when wanting teletext listings such as on weather, news and sport etc. Similarly it appears
many of those who are hearing impaired and own digital solutions still turn to the trusted
p888 analogue support instead. This tends to be due to their digital product not having direct
access to subtitles via the remote control or it has been factory set with the option switched
off to minimize potential conflict with MHEG applications.

Digital teletext offers much improved visual displays over the old “lego brick” characteristics
of analogue text. From BBCi with quarter screen video, to the ability to show photos or jpegs
alongside text in various sizes and fonts it offers a generally richer experience.

However regardless of digital platform, access speed to digital text pages can be slower than
analogue alternatives. This is particularly prevalent on older products with limited memory

All broadcasters recognized the above and other issues with digital teletext. Most have made
changes to their respective services. Critically, all have resurrected the 3 digit access number
format to give users the more trusted route to pages than the unfamiliar cursor navigation

Most now include quarter screen video within the pages to benefit the user with joint text and
programme viewing. Channel 4 and ITV are currently engaged in highlighting this feature in
new advertising of their digital text offerings.

A fundamental difference remains between analogue and digital teletext that continues to
confuse users, particularly the older viewers. This is that through digital teletext being
provided as dedicated broadcast channels rather than via spare line capacity as with analogue,
the user faces switching channels rather than pressing a text key to get pages. Channel 4 is
offering dedicated teletext channels for such as holidays and cars rather than a single generic
text service and this as heightened confusion.

Again the issues have been taken on board by the broadcasters and those such as ITV are
following the BBC’s lead and are linking their text services through re-use of the text key
carried on most DTV receivers’ handsets.

While the Scottish Executive services were not teletext based, the same issue of having to
leave a programme / channel to access the DiTV services would have applied. Most would not
leave the primary entertainment based services to access Government content – particularly
with little or no promotional activity to drive them to do so

9.6.4   Speed

The issue of access time to services and between has already been referred to in the teletext
section above. This continues to be an issue for many when using digital TV, especially the
older generation.

For years, they have been well used to pressing a button and something happening
immediately, be it selecting BBC1 or the teletext, standby, or mute keys. Now when pressing
a button, an immediate activity is not necessarily delivered and in many cases there is no on
screen prompt asking you to wait etc. The issue is particularly noticeable when in interactive
applications and notably MHEG based ones on older Freeview solutions such as ex ITV
digital boxes or new products that also have limited memory. Users don’t necessarily equate
the new digital TV products as being more akin to PCs in terms of applications being loaded
etc. In many instances, users feel the button press has not worked and hit the key once or
more again, potentially giving rise to the machine locking up fully and needing to be

Broadcasters and Manufacturers have taken steps to address this and in some cases the latter
have deployed more powerful processors. As a consequence some of the basic menu and EPG
navigation processes are much quicker/more sensitive. This has given rise to some users –
again typically older and others less familiar with menu navigation processes having
problems. As revealed by the Scottish Executive PC based DTV demonstrator revealed,
people can accessing the wrong areas or lock applications.

The issue can be compounded when there are no on screen prompts or clear instruction on
only hitting a button once and waiting for a second for the receiver to process the command
made. With some users if they see nothing happening they tend to hold a button down and
with any products issue a repeated sequence e.g. 55555 rather than 5 when seeking Channel 5.

Industry has taken this on board and some are aiming to address the issue. Some contemplated
the use of LEDs/audible bleeps on the remote control as confirmation of a button press action
being made. This has been ruled out by most primarily due to increased battery consumption
that could ultimately cause buttons not to function

As part of a baseline receiver specification created by the DTI it now recommends that
manufacturers apply single action capability on remote control devices, i.e. that the button
only actions once until released and then again when pressed again. If applied by
manufacturers this should help with usability factors.

The Scottish Executive Skydigital service could have been impacted by this, not least when
deploying less familiar menus and navigation processes as seen in other Sky services.

9.6.5   EPG

The EPG is potentially one of the most convenient, powerful and compelling digital features,
especially when used in conjunction with DVR/PVRs. They are one of the most significant
differences offered by digital TV over analogue and should be marketed accordingly. This is
something that Sky has done with great success.

However, the concept of how an EPG works and the navigation process can be difficult. This
is especially for the older generation and when the guide is heavily loaded with information.

Perhaps more importantly, the concept of an EPG is something that can prove particularly
difficult and a backward step for the physically impaired – especially those with sight related
issues. Their inability to clearly see an EPG or navigate its typically detailed matrix layout
could cause them to be socially excluded and dismiss a move to digital.

As manufacturers move increasingly towards DVR based products reliant on EPGs and the
wider industry works hard on related areas such as TV Anytime, it is crucial that they
consider the entire population and ideally provide suitable convenient means for everyone to
use EPGs effectively.

BSkyB is rolling out a new EPG design. Named EPG v4, it is expected to roll out to all Sky
customers over the next few months. Sky has said in the past that they hope to have the EPG
upgrade in place this autumn. Time will tell but at first view the changes look like a positive
step forward as part of the extension of the EPG which will see the radio channels move to 4
digit numbers to free up space in the EPG for re-ordering the current TV channels to make
more sense. This is going to be the biggest reshuffle in channel numbering probably since the
launch of Sky Digital. Sky’s new solution splits the TV Guide EPG headings into two pages:

On the first page you have the mainstream headings adding lifestyle and culture and splitting
out documentaries, while on the second page you have radio, shopping, religion and
international along with the new betting & dating and specialist channels.

There are some oddities such as betting channels mixed into the entertainment section – but
perhaps a sign of the significance betting has in developing Sky revenues. Interestingly,
access to the Sky+ planner is now via the “green” button rather than pressing “0” so users will
all have to remember that change. Also the blue button which currently brings up an EPG of
your favourite channels will be limited to 50 channels.

A core reason for younger families with children to reject BSkyB offerings was concern over
programme suitability and access to adult or other unsuitable channels. Sky has therefore
ensured that families can have a secure environment for their children where parents can
control what their children have access to. The last round of updates has added the ability to
control access to adult channels via PINs, for example, and there are now more sophisticated
controls on programming that is marked with a rating. In addition the PIN control can be
extended to any channel in the EPG including ones that are FTA. Given this, it seems likely
that Sky will ask broadcasters to include more content ratings for their programming to allow
more PIN control. It appears that the Main guide page configuration remains largely
unchanged and citizens will still have visibility of the Government service option on the first

Offering a means of “vocalizing” an EPG and other menus could be enormously valuable for
citizens and not just the physically impaired. Being able to simply speak to the receiver and
tell it which programme to record, ask it what channel is being displayed, or to confirm an
action has been completed would be welcomed by most.

Work has been done in this area by a number of parties, the most significant being by the
former ITC (now OFCOM) Vista project in partnership with BSkyB amongst others and also

the RNIB initiative with Sony broadcast, Salford University and Nokia. Neither of the
initiatives thus far has created a commercial proposition.

As seen with voice-activated solutions on PCs, some difficulties have been encountered with
levels of voice recognition. Unlike PC’s, TVs are typically more shared viewing based
devices and bring a greater requirement for accurate recognition and response to the voices of
different family members etc. When announcing their latest results, Sky revealed a new
system for programming indicated that they had developed a means of controlling Sky+ via a
WAP based EPG on mobile phones.

Such could be a valuable new convenient way of setting recordings while away from home
and perhaps could also be extended to enable many of the physically impaired who enjoy the
use of a mobile phone to adjust their EPG for DTV products. Many homes will wish to retain
their existing analogue VCRs if for no other reason than playing their “library” of recorded
material held on various tapes.

A potential saviour exists, in the launch of the new “Phantom” product from Blue Delta. This
clever and relatively inexpensive product essentially brings an EPG facility to standard VCRs.
It utilises Pin 8 switching on a SCART connection on the VCR and STB. The latter’s DVB SI
data is beamed to the remote control interface on any VCR to enable setting of recordings.
This is without the need to input channel, on time, off time etc. As many of the older
community have perpetually struggled with VCR timer setting, such a device could be a real
solution and inducement to move to DTV. Blue Delta continues to focus the Phantom device
for use with Skydigital satellite receivers. However, they advise that even in this form it will
also work with some DTT products (that have pin 8 capability) without change. Recently
Blue Delta struck a marketing partnership with Netgem to offer a combined iPlayer and
Phantom PVR package. This now brings a strong DTT based solution to market.

The Sky digital EPG remains a primary user interface heavily promoted by BSkyB. Its
carrying seven days worth of compelling entertainment and other operational modes plus the
DiTV service being hidden in another secondary menu would have hit the Scottish Executive

9.6.6    eGovernment

From a government departments’ perspective, convenience is a leading element in proposed
services from various authorities and agencies.

A number of them are aiming to address sections of the community who cannot or will not
travel to access the relevant authority’s services of facilities. Some such as Kirklees or
Newham are promoting the idea of being able to stay in the safety of your home, no need to
queue at council offices or alike to talk to officials or pay rent etc. A number of authorities are
running tests or pilot services on kiosks, again offering more convenient access points for
local residents.

Of course, it’s more convenient as well as being more economical for the authority if the
public do more for themselves and remove the need for phone operators or office staff.

Use of DiTV to access Government services without leaving the home would appear to be
much more convenient. However, DiTV services can be slower to provide information access

or more costly if having to remain connected for long periods. Typically interactive TV users
stay in services for up to 10 minutes at a time and this is for more entertaining elements. The
concept of form filling or navigating pages of largely text based information via DiTV
remains alien to most at least when use of a computer or telephone is more convenient and
accessible without disturbing other viewers.

9.7      Contact

9.7.1    Customer Support

It is important that as part of the move to digital switchover that contact services such as
customer support organizations, telephone helplines and websites are readily accessible. This
is particularly applicable to those feel they have been coerced into making the move or have
not previously purchased TV reception equipment for some years.

Such will want to know they can turn to somewhere for help, guidance and support not just in
cases of product failure but also for advice on previously un-encountered experiences digital
brings. Primary candidates in this area are not surprisingly the elderly, physically impaired
and sections of the ethnic community. Many of the above members of the public will be
technically illiterate. As a result it is important that any contact service organizations are fully
trained to be able to deal with this section of the community in an appropriate manner.

Typically call centre staff tend to be younger individuals and perhaps not as well placed to
handle older members of the public. There may be merit in call centres employing older
generation telesales staff including some from ethnic communities and possibly physically
impaired who have empathy with those calling.

Similarly websites such as those of manufacturers or broadcasters should deploy more citizen
friendly elements to address such sections of the public. As well as using more appropriate
terminology/language they can call on well known and trusted TV personalities of similar
background to act as supporters of their efforts.

It is very apparent that companies like B&Q, Sainsburys and Marks and Spencers, who have a
policy of employing older staff, have trusted status by many amongst the same community
leading to strong sales as a result. Conversely there has been significant media coverage on
citizen grievances and mistrust with organizations like Dixons Stores Group who typically
employ much younger personnel.

The ageing profile of the population raises the need to consider drawing from the larger pool
of older inhabitants when the younger sections are reducing.

For many simply being able to talk to a person or meet face to face is important especially
when conducting important discussions with the Government. Use of DiTV with lack of
visibility of how personal information is exchanged and controlled is not attractive.

9.8     Comfort

Out of familiarity comes comfort. For many years citizens at large have grown up and become
aware and experienced in use of analogue TV products.

A move to digital, through choice or otherwise, raises potential problems from many new
technical changes. From dealing with many more channels, menus, EPG’s, delayed access
times, software crashes and connectivity users will need to change their viewing habits

Many citizens’ particularly younger and more affluent ones will make the transfer to digital
more smoothly. As before the older element, that has grown up longer with analogue TV and
much the same service access methods, will find things much more difficult. This is a point
missed by many in the broadcast, manufacturing and retail communities often when they
themselves are younger and close to the technology.

There is a strong case for focusing on creating solutions, be they product or marketing
oriented, for the older and less technically aware sections of the community. Providing
simple, easy to understand and operate products and marketing them accordingly will not only
benefit those above but the citizen sector as a whole.

This would have been a fundamental issue for the Scottish Executive and indeed other
Government DiTV trials. Consideration should be given to which applications can be best
served by other trusted platforms plus which are essentially only TV related and need to
deploy Skydigital and other DTV products.

9.8.1   Ergonomic designs

People will more readily accept new products if they are comfortable and easy to use. This
applies particularly but not exclusively to remote control handsets. Citizens would be more
comfortable with products that can connect easily and work in a logical manner too.

Ease of use comes from simplicity and in many ways “less equals more” in terms of comfort
and confidence when using products.

The fewer the buttons there are on products the better it is – at least if they are not simply
replaced with more on screen menu options.

The DiTV pilot relied on customers existing Sky handsets/remotes. These are currently best in
class. However using any point and shoot type handset rather than a QWERTY keyboard for
what would be more PC type applications and interfaces may not have helped.

9.8.2   Remote controls

This section concentrates on older people, who may have sight and hearing impairment as
well as loss of dexterity in their fingers.

Remote controls need to feel balanced, light and easy to grip. Buttons should be few, large
and well spaced to help those who may have arthritic complaints and limited movement in
their fingers.

Buttons should be responsive requiring a firm positive action to enable their functionality.
The buttons should also be clearly marked ideally through worded labelling, colour and / or
texture differences.

Importantly, the directional sensitivity should be wide to take account of fact that citizens –
old or young, often point the handset for a STB, VCR etc at the TV screen and not the
peripheral device they aim to control. Battery compartments on the remote should be easily
accessible and provide easy changing of drained batteries. All of the above would arguably be
valued by younger elements of the community as much as the older element too.

Older people often struggle to connect products, especially when they can’t bend down to get
to below and behind a TV easily. Having sockets higher up the back of a TV, clearly
distinguished by colour and / or strong large worded labelling would help. Furthermore, if the
cables and leads to be plugged into the sockets were coloured and labelled the same this
would be a major benefit.

In addition, it would be better if plugs could only be fitted one way into a socket; many times
installing the likes of SCART plugs is hindered by their appearing to be the same shape up
upside down as the right way up.

EPG’s and other on screen menus are a particular digital development that radically changes
the way TV operates from the analogue field. Against the new trend for detailed on screen
matrixes of channels, programmes folders, timers, surround sound adjustments, for years
citizens have simply pressed key/s to access a channel and basic toggle controls to
increase/decrease volume, contrast etc in line with basic scale markers on screen.

Developments in EPG’s and menus should be more akin to old style TV channel navigation
and less like a PC to be really in line with older and other citizens.

The Skydigital remote benefits older users with an ergonomic design with larger, well spaced
and different shaped and coloured keys. However, it is not really any more practical than
others for those with such as rheumatism, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease and other dexterity
issues. Furthermore, the handset carries unfamiliar button labelling.

9.8.3    Government services

In the context of Local Authorities’ DTV initiatives, those running them have recognized that
many of the community who need services most are the elderly or handicapped.

Many from these groups are not willing or unable to easily access the relevant local authority
office in person. Reasons for this could include lack of transport, physical impairment, fear of
the world at large etc.

The local authorities typically see DTV as a potential trusted means of addressing these
citizens’ needs but from the comfort of their own home and without the need for authority
paid helpers. Unfortunately Internet savvy young developers have generated much of the
work seen in trials and they are not necessarily in tune with the older or handicapped.

BSkyB conducted a lot of research to ensure they had a user friendly proposition in
Skydigital. This particularly extended to the remote control design and interface with the
EPG. However, in spite of this DTV works very differently to analogue TV possibly causing
Scottish Executive citizens to defer from using the medium or causing them to continue to use
other tried and trusted means of communicating with Government

9.9      Confirmation

Two way contact is a key factor for interactive elements. It is important to improve citizen
confidence and usage.

This issue is particularly pertinent to transactional services when confirmation of activities is
required. Such could be in home shopping, banking services or when requesting a brochure
etc. Alternatively confirmation is needed when voting, be it to vote someone out of the big
brother house or register your support for local or national politicians.

In the past there have been instances where either citizens wishing to interact with services
did not know if their vote or order had been logged. Equally there have been cases where
through random or incorrect key presses, viewers have inadvertently made orders, requests
without wishing to

As an important step to building confidence in use of services, some form of confirmation
messaging is required to clearly indicate that requests have been logged or on the other hand
act as a warning to prevent unwanted access. The confirmation message could be indicated on
screen as some service providers already do or by a simple LED illumination or possibly
some form of audible tone.

With the growth of SMS related links to broadcasts, DTT products without an inbuilt return
path could move towards use of mobile phones for interactive return channels. Any
transactional request could be recorded by receipt of an SMS message on the mobile, rather
than through the DTV receiver or remote control.

The association between digital terrestrial television and mobile phone is already developing
rapidly at least for the entertainment sector. Viewers of digital music channels such as the
Hits can now request the next track and see their names including on scrolling SMS message
banners at the foot of the screen. This concept has widened to news and sports services too.

Those in public sector agencies wishing to offer true interactivity and benefit from the
phenomenal growth of Freeview DTT should explore use of mobile telephony as a return path

With little or no feedback immediately confirming any interactive dialogue between the user
and the Scottish Executive, triallists may have elected not to use the service.

9.10     Confidentiality

The ability for DTV to enable two way interactivity and transactional services raises major
issues over confidentiality and personal data protection. This is particularly relevant with
government services that centre on health, education, or financial matters.

For the relevant departments to be able to develop means of enabling arranging doctor
appointments, delivering education services, or pay/pensions advice etc, they need to ensure
that they can maintain total security of the citizens’ personal details. The NHS Direct TV
Service management team can advise on the former. This is also true of those running the
ODPM Starter Kit based doctor appointment booking scheme being trialled in South

There are various means of securing personal information that could be tied into DTV. Such
would include use of smartcard, SIM technology, use of passwords or other coded entry to
activate the product etc. However any would need to be tied to robust encryption techniques
within the receiver itself and the associated network. As electronics sectors converge and
technologies become either standardized or harmonized and particularly around IP, there is a
greater risk of security breakdown across all platforms as a result of hacking on one.

The issue of data protection is emerging as one of the biggest issues for the electronics
industry as a whole. If data protection was not available and seen to be totally secured, many
citizens would reject some of the benefits DTV can offer. Their concerns are not just over
major personal areas such as above but right down to simply not wanting others to know what
viewing habits they have or being bombarded with sales calls as a result.

Citizens’ concerns over the need for compulsory telephone connection to Sky digiboxes is not
just over costs for calls but can also include fear of their personal use of the receivers being
identified and used by Sky or their partner associations.

The fear is not necessarily unfounded, Sky are well placed to track usage, at least with certain
products. When developing Sky +, BSkyB’s sister company NDS worked closely with Pace
as the product manufacturer on developing xTV. Essentially this is a software platform that
could enable Sky to track citizens by age, sex, postcode etc and their individual viewing
habits, e.g. which genres, programmes viewed and when. They originally saw this as an
important asset for compiling data that could be marketed to product manufacturers and
suppliers. As an example, if Adidas wanted to know how many citizens living in SW1
watched Wimbledon or any other tennis related programmes, Sky could technically furnish
this information. However, in light of concerns over data protection as well as other issues,
they have not utilized xTV in the UK.

It should be noted that on the other hand, there are citizens who are happy for their personal
details to be shared and used to offer them more personalized services. Typically such citizens
exhibit a confidence in systems being secure or knowing their rights. Many welcome feeling
part of a “special club” or being more uniquely treated.

There will then be those such as the older, and ethnic elements that do not recognize the
ability for their personal details to be captured by DTV and my unwittingly access services
that results in them receiving unwanted approaches from organizations.

In any DTV interactive service there should be a choice for the user to “opt in” or “opt out” of
programming linked to a clear explanation of what opting in means in terms of how their
personal data and usage may be capitalized on and conversely what happens if they opt out.
For example, opting out could result in the user not being offered latest offers or software
versions that keeps the receiver up to date.

To provide an opt in / opt out system may require some means of on screen form /menu
completion. These add an extra dimension when thinking about menus and ease-of-use, plus
reinforces the need for some means of the user’s selection being received and confirmed.
Further difficulties may arise as and when more DVR/PVR and storage capable devices come
to market –not least when such offer the potential for disk partitions being attributed to
individual users.

From storage of adult entertainment, to educational material, tax returns etc all such
individual personal applications could be held in what could be a shared family accessed
receiver. There needs to be easy ways for individual family members to access their own
areas of the HDD to the exclusion of others. The usual PIN code method could be used. It
could be further strengthened if different fonts in upper or lower case or different colours
could be brought into service.

The typical smartcard carried by some receivers could be replaced by others for the individual
users. This could be an expensive method at least from a distribution management
perspective. However, Home Office plans for individual ID cards could provide a viable

However there appears to be a major opposition to the scheme. According to the Home
Office’s own consultation exercise, most people are opposed to the idea of a national ID card
for the UK. In response to a parliamentary question from MP Anne McIntosh, Home Office
minister Beverley Hughes confirmed that over 5,000 of the 7,000 responses to a public
consultation on the issue were against the scheme.

The majority of the responses came via the website of Internet campaign group Stand. Ms
Hughes revealed 5,031 emails had been received via the Stand website. 4,856 expressed
views against an entitlement card scheme, 44 expressed views in favour. A further 131
responses contained false information such as made-up addresses. An additional 2,000
responses received by the Home Office showed two-thirds in favour of an ID card and one
third opposed.

Mobile phones SIM card carriage provides yet another smartcard solution that could build on
the work done by the mobile phone industry and the home office. SMS messaging could
perhaps be sent to receivers to give access. With mobiles normally residing with the owner, at
home any opportunities for unauthorized pin code entry tied to the SIM would be removed.

There would be little desire to obtain Scottish Executive services or conduct private
transactions with a commercial provider seen to be constantly marketing its services and with
links to advertiser. Some would fear their confidential information being intercepted by other
digital satellite users or viewers sitting alongside them.

9.11    Confidence

Analogue TV has grown to probably become the most trusted electronic medium in citizens’
homes today. For at least 30 years, citizens have been able to enjoy reliable and quality
performance from most TVs. Day in and day out they consistently switch the TV on to be met
with good pictures and sound (subject to aerial performance) and no issues from software
crashes, delayed application loading etc.

The general view remains that citizens change their TVs every 8-10 years on average. This
may be true, but invariably the product they are replacing then transfers to another room,
family member or second-hand market. As a consequence, it is not at all unusual for homes to
include TVs of 10-25 years of age that still “work perfectly.”

In the recent past there have been some elements that have dented citizen trust and confidence
in DTV or in the operators driving it. Much of this can be attributed to over-hyped or poorly
qualified marketing. The following is a non-exhaustive list of such elements:

Picture and sound quality improvements - some expected to see almost high definition
performance or a radical difference in quality – akin to a move from vinyl records to CDs.

Plug and Play – This was marketed intensively by ITV Digital and through a combination of
reception issues and complicated box set up parameters failed to match the marketing activity.

Access speed and stability – Many have expressed concern over a change from instant “press
of a key” access to services offered by analogue versus the “reveal” time for some digital
applications or as a result of box/software crashes.

More quality channels/programmes – Some have expressed disappointment at the number
of channels / programmes particularly on Sky. i.e. too many from unknown/non UK operators
or offering little new material – i.e. lots of channels showing old material or repeated showing
of new quality programming.

Digital Teletext – While digital text has matched or surpassed expectation in terms of visual
display qualities – (Various fonts/colours, pictures/video rather than lego brick graphics) the
typically slow access speed has disappointed many.

Operator issues – The collapse of ITV Digital, uncertainty over cable operators’ financial
status and ability to maintain services plus worries of Sky continuously hiking subscription
charges, all have impacted some citizens’ desire to move to digital.

All of the above would have impacted take up for the Scottish Executive service – not least
when users only wish to communicate with the Government and public sector services when
they have to.

9.11.1   Upgrades

Citizen and retail confidence could be heightened as a result of more promotion of the
upgrade capability of digital products. Knowing that a solution exists to update their product
may satisfy concerns over purchasing /selling earlier.

That being said, hearing that products can be upgraded may simply reinforce the waiting
position until such time as product is seen to be at its final development stage and not need
“modifying”. This would be more akin to analogue where citizens have been able to purchase
the same basic concept for years.

Citizens typically engaged with public sector organisations when they have to rather than
though choice. They need to feel confident that their payments have been received or issues
addressed. The apparent “newness” of the DiTV medium, often seen to be unstable or
needing new software would cause some to reject using it to communicate with the Scottish

Executive, not least if there was limited or no guidance or support marketing to build their

9.12    Coverage

One of the principle factors for lack of confidence and trust in DTV has been the quality and
reach of DTT coverage. Many welcomed the concept of ITV Digital and “digital telly through
an aerial” and were disappointed to find various shortfalls in reception from picture blocking,
missing multiplexes or no reception at all.

Retailers in particular, lost confidence in the DTT platform when not being able to guarantee
reception or performance and faced many products being returned.

The move to 16 QAM on 4 multiplexes has undoubtedly helped, as has the more “even-
handed” Freeview marketing driven by the trusted BBC. However, much remains to be done
to improve the approximate 75% coverage to closer to analogue reach and on all multiplexes.

On June 1st 2005, OFCOM set out its final proposals for the switchover to digital television
resulting from the consultation process undertaken in February. Their plans will bring DTT
coverage up close to that for today’s analogue levels. This will be through a combination of
transmitter power increases linked to a phased switchover programme, additional relays and
transmission mode changes.

More on this can be found in the new developments section of the report.

The use of Skydigital would clearly have benefited the Scottish Executive with extended DiTV
reach than use of Freeview DTT at the time of launch. However, satellite reception is not
without difficulty. Adverse weather conditions, high buildings in urban areas and large hills
in rural ones as often found in Scotland could have impacted citizen’s desire to trust the
medium to engage with Government.

9.13    Charges

Charges made for DTV-principally for services, still remain as a key barrier for DTV take up.

Citizens have had 12-13 years to opt for BSkyB’s and the cable operators’ (analogue or
digital) subscription oriented services as a route to bring multichannel TV into their homes.
Based on the latest OFCOM market statistics and Operator results, some 11 million homes
have been converted to such pay based solutions, on the other hand around 14 million others
have not - even when offered a growth in channels and width of content.

Since the launch of Freeview as a free to view proposition, sales for it have soared. OFCOM’s
latest statistics released in August 2005, indicate that more than 5 million homes have adopted
this non pay DTT platform. Sales for Freeview DTT continue to average a rate that is six to
eight times that for Sky and it accounted for nearly 70% of the growth in the number of digital
homes in 2004; over 3.25 million digital terrestrial boxes and integrated digital TVs were sold
over the course of the year.

In addition to the charges for subscription and pay to view TV, those associated with
telephone line connection are acting as another key barrier – especially in relation to
interactive service elements and notably games playing.

Unfortunately, citizens continue to attribute little value or interest to government services
being delivered by DTV. This raises difficulties for the related departments when aiming to
secure income from their services while being charged by the likes of BSkyB for platform
carriage and telephone return channel costs.

Central governments and local authorities may be better placed focusing their info-oriented
services on cheaper media such as DVD or other technology sectors where entertainment
based services are less pervasive. For example, citizens may be more prepared to access
government services when locked on a train, in a traffic jam or at the office via use of 3G or
other IP based terminals.

Fundamentally Sky digital owners would only desire to pay subscriptions for those services
they really want to watch and not necessarily for other non entertainment based “only when
needed” services as provided by the Scottish Executive trial.

9.13.1   Controlling cost

It is apparent, that many citizens are less concerned about being charged for services, but fear
the inability to control the spending on such. Similarly, many resent paying subscription
charges when unable to access services for considerable periods. The prime example of this is
in the summer, when they may be way from home on holiday or simply watching less TV as a
result of being outdoors more.

Many would prefer some form of “pay as you go” charging as and when services are
accessed. This is a well-proven concept in the mobile phone arena, where citizens accept
paying more for the hardware in the first instance and then buy fixed value top up cards
dependent on their usage of services.

Alternatively, some citizens would welcome service charges being levied more in accordance
with their typical viewing patterns. With many watching TV or accessing services less in the
summer and more in the Winter, they would prefer charges being calculated accordingly. In
percentage terms this could extend to 25% of a yearly charge being applied in the Spring and
likewise in the Autumn. The remaining 50% perhaps then being split 15% in Summer and
35% in the Winter.

One significant move has been the introduction of Top-Up TV (TUTV) over Freeview, giving
viewers access to a wider selection of channels than the basic Freeview package for a monthly
fee. The TUTV service is not a conventional subscription service in that its customers are free
to opt in and out with a month’s notice.

 In addition, Top Up TV tested offering its Xtraview ‘sample’ service for £1 per day, which
may perhaps herald a move towards more “on demand” pricing of premium content. They
closed the pilot down at the end of August 2005 and it remains to be seen if and how they
resurrect it or a new derivative.

The concept of using a subscription based DiTV satellite service with associated dial-up costs
is alien to many when having to engage with “boring”/non entertainment based services.

9.14     Cost

9.14.1   Hardware

Costs of DTV receivers, especially DTT ones are expected to continue to fall in the shorter
term. This will be fuelled by more products coming to market and notably from the Far East
or other countries with lower production charges.

Today, DTT STBs range from as little as £29 through such products as Dixon’s Matsui DTR3
model with twin SCARTs and MHEG-5

Economies of scale are at last likely to emerge, not only through the strong take up of
Freeview here in the UK, but by moves in other countries to develop their DTT platform and
adopt similar positioning to Freeview. As a consequence, markets like Denmark, Finland,
Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Spain, may all require similarly
specified products to those of the UK.

A number of manufacturers are looking at stripping back their receiver specifications in order
to achieve lower prices. However the existing low level specifications plus call for a baseline
receiver specification from DTI is impacting what can be done.

Modems are still not supported by the vast majority, or the ability to add an external one
either, as a result of no socket being carried for such a device.

Typically SCART connectivity is reduced to a single input, which raises issues when trying to
interface with VCRs, other STBs or games consoles. This issue can be further compounded
when models do not have RF loopthrough and ideally full band modulator. Some have
removed outputs for Dolby digital, surround sound at a time when more programming is
being marketed with such an audio capability.

Other prime candidates for removal are smartcard sockets or common interface inputs, fuelled
by the apparent moves to a free TV only concept.

The market is polarising between such low end solutions and new top end variants that enable
manufacturers to strengthen their margins. The latter are focused on recording solutions and
incorporate hard disk storage or are combined with DVD-Recorders. Interactive capabilities
(return channel) are still being omitted.

Those in Government face little prospect of capitalising on Freeview’s DTT growth with a
product offering true two way interactivity. Accordingly they need to consider enhanced (one
way information) services that could be carried on digital teletext, or perhaps develop mobile
phone synergies. Focusing on satellite and cable only falls short of addressing those who do
not want PayTV or a truly platform agnostic stance.

It is assumed that the Scottish Executive DiTV trial only addressed the existing deployed base
of Sky digital products. It is highly unlikely that citizens would pay for hardware, dish
installation even if they could get services free of charge. This has been a factor for strong
Freeview DTT take up. In addition to relatively low cost/subscription free hardware, many
homes do not to pay for new aerials or equipment installation.

9.14.2   Services

Costs for services remain as a barrier for many to move to digital TV especially those who
feel that paying the TV licence is not necessarily delivering value to them.

From September 1st, a top tier BSkyB subscription package at £41 per month equates to a
£492 yearly fee (can be discounted by full payment in advance). There are then options for
other pay per view or other pay elements such as interactive gaming and gambling on top.

The question is just how much more can Sky draw from their base before churn levels start to
rise significantly Their ability to secure such levels is fuelled by the demographic mix of their
customers, many being A – C groupings rather than D, Es and older generations.

Freeview has been very successful in addressing the older element of the community. In
addition to being a simple route to digital channel, people are attracted by the one-off
payment and lack of contract. This is the single most significant feature for customers - with
65% of them stating that this is extremely important to them.

The Scottish Executive services were free. However the associated dial up cost for interactive
service access would have put many off from accessing the DiTV service – not least when not
compelling mainstream TV entertainment.

9.14.3   Invest to Save Budgets

From a government department perspective, cost saving is developing as the lead reason for
their ongoing involvement in DiTV. Many see the channel as a means of saving
administrational costs such as those from call centres and for field support teams.

It is clear that a number of local authority DTV initiatives have been instigated purely as a
result of needing to achieve short-term policy remits and budget allocations. Unfortunately
such projects and trials will not help the long term drive towards switchover or indeed other
contingent policy areas.

Much work was done by the eGU under its earlier OeE guise to try and establish long term
business plans from departments that could enable a move beyond the current short term
project based stance held by many.

Moves are being made by some authorities to secure future funding to enable full time DTV
services to be devised. Most are looking at some form of invest to save budget proposition.

This is important when typically 80% of authority resources are attributed to 20% of their
community. Provision of eGovernments services by DTV and potential self help derived from
them may contribute significant savings and enable more efficient and economic use of
available resources.

Sky digital has largely been taken by younger well off customers who are well placed to
engage with Government through various other channels such as the Internet or telephone.
They are better able to make journeys to Government offices as required. Conversely the
majority of people who need Government services cannot afford Sky digital or fear the
extended dial up costs

9.15     Interactivity

There is little growth in use of interactive services. This is according to latest OFCOM
statistics taken from their Communications Market Report produced in July 2005.

Familiarity with enhanced and interactive TV services and functionality continues to grow as
Digital TV usage continues to increase. Accordingly total use of interactive (one way and two
way) services has grown has digital penetration has advanced. However, individual usage is
static or possibly declining. In 2003, 43% of respondents claimed to have used interactive
services via their remote control; this fell to 39% a year later.

As would be expected aided by the wider options on Skydigital and cable, subscribers to these
have made the most of the interactivity. 46% of those using satellite as their main TV
platform have used the Skydigital interactive services, down by 6% on 2003.

This compares with 38% of Freeview using the less advanced interactivity available in 2004.
Data was not available for 2003.

OFCOM go on to suggest that some people may be feeling less positive about interactive
services. In 2003, 62% of respondents agreed that “interactive services enhance TV viewing
for the viewer”. This figure fell to 47% a year later, rising to 55% amongst satellite viewers.

In 2004, 17% of adults claimed to have bought products or services via their TV sets. Nearly
a third (32%) contacted or responded to TV programmes by telephone, text message or email.
This is broadly consistent with 2003 figures

37% of all multi-channel viewers had used pay-per-view (PPV) services in 2004 compared to
around 50% in 2003. This is attributed to the growing proportion of Freeview DTT viewers
who do not have PPV access. Of cable and satellite viewers, just under half indicated they
have used pay-per-view services in 2004 and as in previous years this was more for watching
films than sports.

The general low take-up for DiTV as shown above would have hit the Scottish Executive
service too – probably more when taking account of the percentages above referring to
mainstream entertainment or advertising services.

9.15.1   Interactive Advertising

It is five years since the first interactive advert hit the UK's TV screens, or at least those of
them hooked up to a Sky dish.

At the time, broadcasters were hoping they had found an exciting new way to engage with
viewers – both in terms of direct response and branding – but nobody was sure if the new
technology would spark a revolution. Now in 2005, the jury is still out but this time the
doubts appear to lie with viewers.

That interactive technology needs to adapt to viewers' expectations is in little doubt, judging
by a report released in April 2005 by Flextech-owned sales house IDS, it claims to be the
biggest survey to date of consumers' attitudes toward the interactive advertising medium.

The study included face-to-face and telephone interviews with more than 1,000 viewers. It
makes pretty uncomfortable reading for some, including big household name firms, who have
thrown considerable sums at interactive advertising over the five years.

There is no doubt that viewers know where their red button is, but it is the quality of the calls
to action and the transition into what lays behind the "interactive wall" that is the problem.
The IDS report is littered with responses such as "what's the point of that?" and "that doesn't
mean anything to me" etc.

Much of the debate surrounding interactive advertising has recently focused on improving the
creative content and who will provide it, suggesting advertisers have been missing the point

IDS argue the real mission is to make it more straightforward for viewers to start interacting,
and not necessarily via the red button.

Sky has been busy transforming its offering to advertisers into something which resembles far
more the sort of 24/7 advertiser-funded channels that have been talked about since the
Communications Bill but, as yet, have failed to get off the ground.

Late last year Sky re-designed one of its channels, Sky Active, into a magazine-style format
for advertisers – with far greater use of video and original content than previously seen. Some
of these channels are as far away as it’s possible to get from the classic "push red to get a free
brochure" adverts seen so many times before.

In January 2005, Sky joined forces with record giant EMI to promote the aptly named
Chemical Brothers' album Push the Button. Sky Active hosted a dedicated 24/7 Chemical
Brothers' area, where viewers could watch interviews with the band, get information about
them and, crucially, listen in advance to a selection of tracks from the album via an interactive
jukebox. More than 250,000 viewers visited the jukebox which was also plugged via a red-
button advert campaign and 61,000 of them went on to buy the album, a conversation rate of

Sky is understood to be in talks with a string of powerful advertisers about launching a series
of video-based 24/7 advertising vehicles, which may bear little relevance to what the products
do on the tin, but could be a branding tool to reshape interactive advertising. While Sky
Active has potential for music companies and movie firms looking to trail their wares, Sky
claims its new model works for less obviously glamorous companies too.

In April 2005, Procter and Gamble extended a red button campaign for its new Flash Car
Shampoo product to a promotion on the front page of Sky Active. Rather than footage of a car
wash product in action the promotion zoomed viewers into video footage of the World Rally

For the first time, “advertiser channels" are emerging which are as much about branded home
entertainment as advertising. These are taking interactive advertising on to another level from
the red dot, although the real challenge is to get people to go into these locations – i.e. to get
them to go off the air and start visiting these ‘channels’.” Sky already has deals with the likes
of: Odeon for cinema tickets; Boots for its health and beauty section, and the National
Lottery, not to mention the government, IDS indicates has long term plans to use interactive
channels as the basis for a whole raft of services including voting.

Although it is clearly well ahead of its rivals, Sky is not the only company looking to up the
interactive ante. Working on behalf of NTL's and Telewest's 2.5 million combined
households, 90% of which use the interactive function already, interactive firm 24/7 Real
Media is also planning big changes in the services provided by the cable operators. Much of
this also centres around video-rich advertiser funded content, which will be linked to banner
ads on the cable companies' EPG’s.

As yet, Freeview, which IDS estimates will be in more than 6 million households by the
beginning of 2006, has no interactive ads at all However, broadcasters, including ITV, are
pushing for ways to be found for Freeview to join in the race.

The push towards interactive advertising being about compelling content, rather than a direct
response tool, dovetails perfectly with the increasing demands on media agencies to provide
ways for their clients to become content providers as well as advertisers.

With the 30-second spot in danger of disappearing, creating 24/7 vehicles for such content on
TV is set to become one of the key battleground of the next five years and could even help
shape the entire TV advertising model. Interestingly, because they lie "behind" the screen,
interactive channels are not subject to the same legislative restrictions, which seem to be
becoming tighter by the day, as their 30-second spot counterparts – another potentially big
draw for companies.

Yet perhaps the biggest driver is that viewers, as the IDS survey shows, are far from stupid.
They have more and more choice in what they can watch and will not be lured into using
interactive services just because they are there.

The novelty factor for interactive ads has well and truly worn off, although the rewards for
clever advertisers are bigger than ever. IDS points out that the average response rate for
interactive ads has fallen from 1.5% three years ago to 0.85% but the conversion rate to sales
has more than doubled.

The Scottish Executive’s DiTV ambitions would clearly have been hit as were many other
Government service. The issue is compounded when even commercial alternatives offering
more entertainment based interactive services and interactive advertising have also seen
limited demand

9.16     Connectivity

The term can be applied to a number of areas, such as platforms, operators, organizations,
devices and services. This section will aim to review a number of the key topics that need

9.16.1   DTT return path

Abilities for real cross platform harmonization and particularly for interactive services will
continue to be hampered by the continued lack of return path on DTT products. Two-way
based applications that can sit easily on satellite and cable cannot directly transfer to DTT and
enhanced TV alternatives need to be created.

The manufacturing community still shows no desire for contemplating the adding of modems
to their products. They continue to indicate the following for their disinterest.

         •   The positioning of UK DTT as a free to view simple platform has stimulated
             very strong sales or Freeview. The operator continues to lead UK DTV take up
             and enjoys weekly sales rates six to eight times higher than those for Sky.

         •   Industry continues to focus on the need for low cost solutions to satisfy this
             market and this removes the ability to add extra features such as modems,
             common interfaces etc.

         •   Market reports continue to show high levels of citizen disinterest in interactive
             TV and paying for such elements. Here in the UK, many citizens still reject
             telephone connectivity to their receivers, either through fear of call charges or
             not wanting unsightly wiring around the home. Some Sky customers are known
             to disconnect their telephone connections from their Skydigital receivers to
             prevent Sky tracking their viewing etc.

More positively, as SMS, chat and voting services continue to rate highly as interactive TV
applications, an obvious way forward is for the use of mobile phones as a form of return path
–particularly but not exclusively on DTT products. Channel 4 and the BBC are known to be
exploring this area and ITV has successfully trialled and launched a “Who wants to be a
millionaire?” mobile SMS based service in partnership with Whoosh!

Some 60 million UK inhabitants of all ages and demographic groups now own a mobile
phone and as recent reports show some – particularly the younger, feel they cannot live
without them. Being able to wireless connect to their DTV adaptor/s should be of great appeal
to many.

This may be particularly amongst those who have more than one TV at home and would
appreciate being able to connect to their TVs in the kitchen or bedrooms without running
wiring from the incoming fixed line telephone point. Many of those who are concerned about
monthly call charges and have opted for a pay as you go mobile variant can still enjoy the
financial security that format offers.

Moves to use of wireless alternatives, particularly those in the mobile phone sector are an
obvious next step. Bluetooth is now being used by various parties and offers a stable
connection. Arguably a more logical step is to apply the IrDA protocol the standard wireless
connection to PCs and PDAs etc. To adopt the latter however may raise problems with infra-
red code interference against that used by the remote control. Today different protocols are
used by manufacturers for the remote control such as NRC17 amongst others.

The Scottish Executive trial clearly used the most significant DTV platform carrying a return
channel. However, if planning any future DiTV developments it might be better to consider
mobile phone /SMS channels. As well as such being explored by those active in the Freeview
DTT arena, the medium will be used heavily in forthcoming mobile TV solutions and critically
Sky have also been actively exploring mobile synergies – as typified by the SMS application
for programming Sky+ recording.

9.16.2   Non compulsory connection

There is a key element to consider, particularly from a broadcaster standpoint. Even if DTT
product manufacturers provided return path connectivity of some form, currently citizens are
not compelled to make the connection as they are with the satellite and cable platforms.

The inability to establish connection with all DTT boxes may cause concern for broadcasters
over levels of investment in application writing or from a customer service support
perspective. They may face taking calls from citizens saying they cannot get the interactive
content etc as a result of not being connected or at least not in the correct manner.

The Scottish Executive trial may have been impacted by some Skyhomes removing the
“compulsory” telephone connection to either prevent:

•   Remote dial up of the receiver by BSkyB

•   Preventing unauthorised ordering/pay access by children

•   Fear of missing important telephone calls when interactive services engaged

•   Dropping of interactivity when phone call comes through.

9.16.3   DTT return path & Government

The vast majority of DTT receivers continue to have no onboard modems/browsers or
connectivity for external variants. This scenario is set to continue for the foreseeable future at
least. This raises considerable issues for government when proposing to maintain a platform
agnostic stance on use of DTV as a channel for eGovernment services.

The majority of the many trials being conducted at a central or local government level do not
include DTT products and as such are not helping shape the relevant departments’ longer term
DTV strategic thinking.

Other authorities are sitting on the fence, exuding a similar stance to citizens and waiting for a
single standard DTV proposition to appear on all platforms. This is doing little to encourage
DTV procurement by the said authorities and helping drive up non-domestic DTV
penetration. To change this continuing strand requires either (a) other DTT models with
onboard modem and browser or (b) Government to consider one-way information only
oriented services.

Various market reports continue to show little citizen interest in Internet by TV or non-
entertainment based interactivity. Accordingly, manufacturers are displaying no interest or
plans in developing products. Some government departments now recognize this factor
assisted by the stronger communications developed with the DTI and DCMS –the
departments charged by the Prime Minister with leading on Digital TV and Switchover.

The Cabinet Office eGU has revisited its channel strategy to be less focused on DTV as a
means of interactive electronic service delivery. Emphasis has moved more to mobile
telecoms solutions alongside kiosks and the Internet. DTV is still seen as a strong platform by
which public sector organisations can deliver one- way information based services including a
call to action via telephone numbers carried on screen

Some departments are actively considering one-way services via DTT. However more work
needs to be done on promoting the value of this approach to others, especially when many are
focusing on information only services. Alternatively work needs to be developed on exploring
alternative return channel connectivity via mobile phones. This in turn requires departments
to work together in a harmonized approach offering commercial scale to the manufacturing

Much of the content offered in the Scottish Executive service was enhanced TV oriented only.
Accordingly, there would be merit in focusing on this level alone as other authorities have to
better match user interest and continued focus on non modem based solutions by industry.

9.16.4   Broadband

With over 7.5 million UK broadband homes by May 2005, there are now more broadband
than dial-up internet subscribers. By the end of 2005, 99.6% of UK homes will be connected
to a broadband-enabled exchange. In addition broadband prices are falling, and speeds are
increasing – both of which are helping drive demand and new applications

Now may be a good time for DTT manufacturers to consider adding an Ethernet socket on the
rear of receivers. Such has already been done on the Netgem iPlayer Freeview STB and
BSkyB has already made moves to do this on their latest Sky+ satellite receiver now being
marketed plus their forthcoming HDTV PVR for release next year.

The return path offered by Sky digital clearly afforded the Scottish Executive with an
interactive connection. However, being restricted to standard 56kbps PSTN line the speed
and smooth migration between applications would have been hit. The resulting experience
then being poorer compared to those offered by other channels.

9.17     Control

As well as the obvious control elements that remote handsets bring, there are other primary
control factors. Such includes the user managing viewing instead of the broadcaster linked to
the emergence of PVRs, increased channels, EPG classification etc.

Other key control elements exist through a product in one location feeding another elsewhere
and home automation. These areas are all explored below:

There would be little interest in feeding Government applications around the house or
elsewhere, not least when the majority of them are sole viewer/ private.

9.17.1   Remote Control handsets

In many ways these devices in conjunction with on screen menu displays, are more important
than the related receiver itself – particularly from a usability perspective.

Various industry groups are putting considerable work into remote handset areas. Much of the
human factors studies work, such as that conducted through the ITC / Consumers Association

“Easy TV” initiatives and that of Scientific Generics relate to remote control issues. However,
there still seems to be some important areas being missed.

BSkyB are probably the best example of a company operating good practice in remote control
development. They have recognized the importance of layout and ergonomics and spent
considerable time developing the common handset design, made by Philips and supplied with
all brands of their digiboxes. However, this good work has arguably not been replicated in the
associated EPG and menu links with their handsets.

A number of those currently or proposing to deliver DTT models could learn from the Sky
digital remote control qualities and the industry research being conducted. A number of DTT
products carry handset designs that will do little to help many citizens when moving to digital.

A number of remote controls are very compact with small and crowded keys carrying poor
labelling and critically not well suited to the growing base of older citizens. This issue is
compounded when new functionality is increasingly being incorporated into products.
Typically the same amount of keys have to carry double or more functionality, such as in
receivers with inbuilt PVR and or DVD.

Based on experiences from the Ferryside DTT Technical Trial and other usability studies /
feedback; the following would constitute as measures of good handset design. Government
departments wishing to procure products would be well advised to seek those models carrying
such handsets to assist in minimising call centre and field work support:

         •    Handsets should be ergonomic and large enough to be held comfortably and
              ideally be designed for left or right-handed use.

         •    The footprint of the device should be large enough to enable sufficient space
              between keys to minimize accidental double key presses.

         •    The keys should be large enough to enable clear labelling. The labelling should
              ideally be worded rather than symbols (e.g. “text” instead of .)

         •    Commonly used keys should be larger and centrally located on the handset
              (This is being endorsed by TEG-C and central location of the navigation and
              OK button cluster)

         •    Different shaped keys should be used or shaded and or textured differently to
              help those with visual impairment.

         •    Key shape/labelling should be replicated in on screen displays to aid association

         •    Toggle oriented keys should ideally be marked with both functions and
              separated with / e.g. on/off. (This is now being picked up by TEG-C)

         •    Key presses should feel positive and activate the associated function promptly.

The Scottish Executive trial benefited from the Skydigital remote control being based on or
offering the elements above. However, having the best remote control can still do little to
encourage access to services that are not compelling and TV entertainment based.

9.17.2   Future transactional requirements

A common missing element on remote controls today is some means of confirming an action
has taken place. Industry is increasingly moving to more 2 way and transactional applications.
Such could include interactive services like voting, sending of SMS messages, impulse
purchases, brochure requests etc, or setting of PVRs through EPGs. The need for confirming
an application has been launched or completed will increase as a result.

Something like an LED flashing on the handset or an audible tone being activated when a key
is hit or transaction is completed would be useful to address this issue. However this would
give rise to potential problems of increased battery consumption.

Such means of confirming actions would greatly benefit the older elements of the community,
visually impaired or those not used to delayed application load times sometimes experienced
in digital services.

Some manufacturers argue that they have the issue covered through their receivers carrying an
LED on the fascia that responds when the remote control keys are pressed, however many
users look down at the remote when starting a function and not at the receiver.

The visually impaired in particular would benefit from some form of audible tone being
initiated by the remote control when a function has been activated or transaction completed.
On the other hand such a solution could be distracting/ annoying for other users. Lessons
could be learned from the mobile phone community where handsets offer the ability to switch
audible tones on and off or reduce the associated volume levels.

Netgem who offer the only DTT product with Audio Description services for the visually
impaired has applied “voice confirmation” when channel changes are made on their iPlayer
receiver. The user hears a pleasant female voice giving the name of the channel selected. This
is not infallible as when new services are introduced and the receiver’s software has not been
updated to announce it correctly.

The above elements would probably have assisted take-up of the Scottish Executive and other
public sector DiTV services. However, it is worth noting that future plans for TV and SMS
based registering of election votes by the UK Government have been scrapped, at a time when
voting in programmes such as Big Brother, Pop Idol and the X Factor continues to grow. A
clear case of compelling TV /entertainment related applications being needed.

9.17.3   BBC

The BBC aims to give further control to the viewer on what they watch and when. With the
high take up of broadband/ increased data rates and benefit of new hard disk based devices

and caching facilities, citizens will be able to personalise and segment their viewing and
listening much more than ever before.

The BBC Radio player has been extremely well received and many citizens actively enjoy
listening to radio programmes up to a week after the live broadcast. The Corporation has built
on this and growth of MP3 devices to launch a growing range of podcasts that listeners can
download for later consumption.

From the end of September 2005 after
selecting triallists from a large base of
volunteers, the BBC will launch their iMP
application. This will offer the chosen UK
viewers the chance to catch up on TV and
radio programmes they may have missed for
up to seven days after they have been
broadcast, using the internet to legally
download programmes to their home
computers. iMP uses peer to peer distribution
technology (P2P) to legally distribute these

Seven days after the programme transmission date the programme file expires (using Digital
Rights Management - DRM - software) and users will no longer be able to watch it. DRM
also prevents users emailing the files to other computer users or sharing it via disc.

The Scottish Executive should consider working with the BBC to ascertain if and how their
content could be utilized in the BBC’s local & community TV focused plans. The elongated
viewing time linked with a fixed permanent cut-off time could be helpful in encouraging
citizens to engage with public sector DiTV services.

9.17.4   0ther means of viewer control

Digital television brings increased numbers of channels, more on some platforms than others.
With this comes repeat showing of programmes on different channels at different times. Now
the citizen can choose to watch Coronation Street on ITV2 or Eastenders on BBC3 later in the
evening instead of the usual main showings at 7.30 or 8pm. However this can raise some
issues from an interactive perspective, not least when enhanced or two-way services are very
much time linked.

Broadcasters increasingly need to consider what to put behind the red button when showing
programmes at different times in the day. They can choose to remove red button activity on
later showings of course but run the risk of viewers beginning to curb their interactive service
usage if half the time they hit the red key nothing is there.

This issue is heightened further with more channels and programmes bringing the opportunity
for EPGs to carry programmes by genre and not time alone. Viewers wishing to watch sport,
news or comedy can choose a selected theme and select content pretty much at a time to suit
them, but what about the interactive/enhanced elements behind it?

Some manufacturers are looking to capitalize on processor power developments as part of
their aim to create differentiated products to competitors. Many already add favourite channel

listing capability to their products. Typically such can be used to create channel lists by genre,
or by family member.

This is likely to be extended, through the potential for personalizing channel lists with
different background colours, fonts, wallpapers etc. This is less of an issue in the open
horizontal market but similar moves in the vertical controlled sectors could be difficult when
the operator wants to maintain a common look and feel.

Time shift programming has hindered the ability for interaction. Some viewers have found
that pressing the red button reveals nothing as the original programme timing has long gone.
This is not necessarily something that hit the largely enhanced TV only Scottish Executive
service. However due consideration should be given to the future value for two way
interactive Government services when facing more PVR, VOD and Time Shift based solutions
appearing on the market.

9.17.5   Mobile Phones

Personalization could be developed further through potential use of mobile phones as
individual remote controls for the family’s receiver/s. This would require moves towards SIM
based technology in DTV receivers and common infrared or other wireless protocols.

Such moves would further reinforce the links between broadcast and mobile telephony based
services beyond SMS and chat. Some work is understood to have already been undertaken in
this area by leading mobile phone manufacturers.

Clearly such was not available at the launch of the Scottish Executive trial and still have yet
to appear. However, steps are developing through such as the SMS/Sky+ links and mobile TV
and should be monitored for a future solution.

9.17.6   DVRs & PVRs

PVRs (and DVRs) are the single most important development for moving the power from the
broadcaster to the citizen in controlling what programming is viewed and when.

As well as the ability to transform TV viewing and recording at home, PVRs storage abilities
potentially brings very useful means of supporting Government’s electronic services through
such as downloaded brochures, videos and forms.

Importantly, PVRs proved to be very popular with older and female citizens in the recent
Ferryside trial. Despite owning a VCR for many years, such triallists were able to easily make
recordings for the first time ever. The trial saw ladies aged 85 or more making numbers of
recordings…simply because they could and enjoying discussing with friends about the

Accordingly, Government departments should consider the value of such devices in any
DiTV initiatives. A lead has been taken by the DFES who have deployed Freeview DTT
PVRs under their Teachers TV initiative. More on this can be found elsewhere in the report.

Numbers of PVRs sold remain relatively low in comparison with more basic products.
However this is set to change on the back intensive Sky+ marketing by BSkyB, proposed new
PVR for Telewest and several Freeview DTT DVRs from manufacturers such as Humax,
Panasonic, Thomson, Fusion and others.

August 2005 saw BSkyB announce they had secured 888,000 Sky+ households an increase of
124% on the previous year. In January, Cable firm Telewest announced it is to offer a
personal video recorder (PVR) in a set -top box to challenge Sky Plus.

Telewest's PVR will offer a 160GB hard drive, which has storage for up to 80 hours of
programmes. The box has three tuners, which means viewers can record two channels
simultaneously while watching a third channel.

Sky+ was launched in September 2001 and provided a potential avenue for the Scottish
Executive services. However the higher subscription costs and abilities to record and digest
entertainment left little scope for the product being used for Government DiTV. However,
more PVR/DVRs are appearing with lower prices/higher capacity and could give future
opportunities for the Scottish Executive to send content to hard disk partitions overnight or
when demanded by the citizen.


PVRs have proven to be a challenging concept to market to the public. How do you simply
inform the citizen that they can pause and rewind live TV, as well as being able to perform
other radically different recording and playback techniques?

Sales of PVRs have to date largely been constricted by retailers failing to range or display
them effectively. Typically these devices sit alongside other STBs, none connected to the
mains or able to display services. As a result citizens have not benefited from experiencing in
store how simple the machines can be to use or the useful features they carry. Sky+ has
largely grown as a result of recommendation by existing users. In short demonstration of the
product is absolutely vital to win over those targeted.

What is clear is that when the public have a PVR in their home, they cannot live without
them. This was clearly demonstrated in the 2003 GoDigital trial in the Sutton Coldfield area
as part of the Government /Industry DTV Project. Homes were issued PVRs to use in the trial
and when they were due to be collected many homeowners were reluctant to let them go. Also
the deployment of PVRs in Ferryside proved to be very popular and notably with older

Typically, PVRs today can record 20-40 hours worth of material straight onto a hard disk in
the product – So no more hunting for a blank VHS tape or accidentally recording over one
with special programmes already taped.

Presenting the concept of a PVR and its features to any citizen is difficult at least when not
demonstrating a product to them. The Scottish Executive is not best placed to hold receivers
to show citizens how they can be used for Government interactivity. Those in the retail and
manufacture segments who are able will focus on mainstream entertainment elements only.

9.17.7   PVR & Governmental

As mentioned, the PVR has the potential to greatly assist in eGovernment areas, at least when
assisted with a return path telephone connection.

The hard disk within the PVR could be partitioned to enable content to be downloaded to it,
either over the broadcast spectrum or telephone path –dependent on the richness of the
content in question. The streaming of the content could even be done overnight when the PVR
is not in active use by the family.

Content does not necessarily have to be TV or radio channels but could equally be text based
information or photos etc. Such could be great for school and college pupils to download
support information for their homework or projects via Teachers TV. Similarly, DWP could
issue latest pensions advice, perhaps as a result of the latest budget announcements. Users
could access the enormous library of health information from the DH and download material
on an injury or condition any one of the family has incurred. Perhaps the user could opt to
allocate space on the PVR hard disk to take in reminders from their local authorities such as
doctor’s appointment notification or that the tax return needs to be completed etc.

These are just some examples of what the technology could deliver but such still needs
commercial “buy-in” from transmission providers, broadcasters and manufacturers. There is
the need to understand more on if these or other services are of appeal to the public.

All of the above should be considered carefully by the Scottish Executive .

9.17.8   Home Automation

The concept of a central home gateway or media server that connects all manner of devices
around the home to deliver coordinated entertainment, communication, security, heating,
lighting and other elements has been touted around for some 3 or 4 years.

Such a concept is closer but still some way off from being a launched product. The previous
lack of broadband connectivity in the UK that badly hit development is much improved and
gaining ground all the time. However, much work still needs to be done in open standards and
wireless connectivity areas to see real and affordable solutions start to appear.

More products are moving to IP based technologies than ever before and the long talked of
industry convergence between TV, Telecommunications and the Internet platforms is really
starting to develop. Significant advances are coming from the games console arena and Sony
in particular.

Sony is uniquely placed with substantial interests in electronics manufacturing, software
development and content provision. This is demonstrated in Cocoon their new IP (Linux)
based platform, combining gaming, DVD, MP3, HDD and Internet/broadband for connecting
to a DTV solution. Of course products such as the PS2 and PS3 are already broadband
capable, carry HDD and DVD storage capabilities and essentially just need to be served
broadcast content to become more of a true mediaserver.

Microsoft has similar aspirations and through various initiatives such as the Xbox, IPTV and
Mediacenter PCs are well placed. However, it has suffered heavily in the past through being

very “PC centric” and needs to work hard on more TV oriented and stable hardware and

Among other cross developments; PDAs are moving closer to mobile phones; mobile phones
are moving closer cameras and MP3 players as well as to AV solutions and means of control
for other devices; games consoles are moving to closer to STBs; TVs –screens at least, are
moving closer to PCs and PCs are moving to more PDA oriented solutions such as pen
controlled web-tablets PCs

The white goods industry is also still very active in the home gateway arena. The kitchen is
seen by many as one of the few central points in a home where family members congregate
and different communication solutions are required. LG’s Internet fridge remains as the most
commonly referred to development sometimes alongside those from Whirlpool and

However like LG, Samsung also hails from Korea and is a notable exhibitor of a whole range
of home automation products marketed under the Home Vista banner. As well as the
obligatory Internet fridge, their range of concepts included a microwave oven and washing
machine that could be controlled in the home by a portable webpad or outside through the
Internet or mobile phone. Interestingly, much of Samsung’s solutions in Korea operate on
power line based connectivity around the home. However in general wireless technologies are
seen as the most practical way forward.

Work on standards, interference issues still needs to be developed though. Everything from
WtvML, Bluetooth, WiFi, 3G and WLAN are all being promoted as competing solutions and
it will need work from key industry groups and standards bodies to pull them together.

Technologies are coming closer and ultimately one open standard solution could be created
and enable a single combined device to be produced that could support TV, gaming, Internet
etc, all controlled from a single point. However research clearly shows that citizens use
products differently, e.g. TV is typically a shared entertainment device; a PC is a solo point of
information and transactional device, and a mobile more of a person to person communication
product. Citizens will wish to have the individual solutions and choose to use as they want or
is most appropriate.

The Scottish Executive piloted DiTV at a time when box performance and flexibility was
relatively limited. There was little in the way of PVR availability or new services giving more
control to the user.

9.18     Compatibility

This can refer to interoperability between platforms and devices. The UK government
continues to favour an open standards approach on a non-mandated basis, fuelled by the
leading status of our market and associated product legacy. The EC drive for open standards
and interoperability however is being heightened and with it a greater push towards MHP.

The Scottish Executive DiTV services were only compatible with the Skydigital platform and
products. Accordingly, potentially increased use of the services by transfer to other growing
platforms was not possible and remains so today. EU wishes for an unenforced move to
interoperable standards as yet to deliver. The Scottish Executive should monitor industry

moves but also consider how to apply different levels of services to each platform’s
capabilities as seen with Teachers TV.

9.18.1   Middleware

The EC moves have been a significant factor for BSkyB’s vigour in conducting work on
developing compatible solutions between their Open TV /WtvML platform and the alternative
middleware solutions on DTT and cable. However the failure thus far for MHP to break new
ground appears to have stifled BSkyB’s desire to continue to press on with development

Sky has indicated that work to move from WtvML to the Liberate based cable middleware
would be relatively light. On the other hand more would need to be done for DTT and

It is clear that gaining new satellite and payTV-oriented subscribers is going to become
increasingly difficult for BSkyB. Accordingly they may become keener to establish means of
deploying more of their services on alternative platforms.

The Scottish Executive’s current DiTV platform will continue to be constrained by BSkyB’s
needs to maintain their large legacy base and focus on WtvML.

9.18.2   MHEG-5 Profile 1.06

A move to the latest and probably final version of UK MHEG version 1.06 is being supported
by much of the industry here. As well as providing better functionality and ease of authoring
it offers improved interoperability. The move comes as the culmination of two years' work by
a joint TDN/DTG group of MHEG experts from broadcasters and manufacturers who
developed the new specification. Now that the new Profile is published, it is hoped that it will
appear in new products perhaps as early as this autumn, bringing improvements in receiver
and application functionality and performance.

The improved interoperability from version 1.06 will focus on Freeview DTT compatibility
between makes and models rather than enable cross pollination with Skydigital.

9.18.3   Handsets

Any work being conducted on middleware crossover will be hampered if similar
compatibilities in handset design and functionality are not delivered across platforms.

The BBC in particular is keen to see missing elements on DTT handsets be added to match
those and their functionality on Sky and cable. The key issue is the need for a back or back –
up key – currently missing on many DTT handsets.

Similarly the “alpha” key capability on Sky and cable handsets needs to be deployed on DTT
models too. Additionally, there are labelling discrepancies between many handsets.

The Scottish Executive was reliant on 3rd party developers to build their Sky based service.
The original engagement of a company that built for the DTT platform rather than Sky could
have led to extra work in harmonising their experience with what BSkyB’s SSSL processes

9.18.4   Inclusive design

The work on middleware and handsets referred to above is vitally important to ensure
common solutions. However, there is another important area that does not appear to have
been considered by most in the broadcast and manufacturing sectors.

Inclusive design, aimed at delivering solutions compatible with such as the elderly and
physically impaired is needed too particularly when this is an increasing area of focus within
the EC. It appears that as a result of the majority of manufacturers’ designers and technical
teams being young, they are not recognizing the needs of the older communities. Similarly,
Sky and cable operators in particular have focused their product/services approach to the
younger sections of the community.

Awareness of the needs of the elderly and handicapped should be developed especially when
solutions aimed at them can satisfy the requirements of the wider community too.

Sky’s handset and game pad designs with large well-spaced and clearly labelled keys are clear
examples. While focused towards younger elements their design is ideally suited for many
older and physically impaired people.

The Scottish Executive trial service did not appear to readily address the particular needs of
the elderly. Due consideration should be given to this in the future as this section of the
community continue to account for the majority of public sector resources.

9.18.5   Government

Compatible thinking and technical approaches needs to be developed between the individual
government departments active in DTV. This was encouraged through the quarterly review
meetings of 2003 and 2004. They focused mainly towards central government strategy.

There were also ODPM led monthly topic based group sessions aimed more at local
authorities and tactical issues. A new Government Switchover Group led by the DTI will
hopefully pick up many of the workstreams above and within this report.

To date collaboration between departments has extended to little more than knowledge
sharing and needs to rapidly expand to develop and activate real solutions that can generate a
single harmonized approach. While DTI and DCMS remain as lead contact departments with
the broadcast industry, the eGU and ODPM are helping local authorities move into DiTV
through common solutions via their how to guide and starter kit aimed.

The Scottish Executive was represented at some of the former Quarterly departmental DTV
workgroups in 2003, however as the were held in London this may have impacted the
interest/ability in attending all or engaging with others in an industry that unfortunately is
largely based in the South of England..

9.18.6   Back Office issues

Another key aspect of local government DiTV service provision is ensuring that there is
compatibility with the various back office systems involved. For example, if there was to be
any moves to provide alerts/reminders of doctors’ appointments as part of the DH National
Health Project, it is vital that the systems deployed in surgeries/hospitals for organizing and
managing appointments can be integrated with DTV head end systems, TVs and STBs.

The Scottish Executive DiTV trial appears to have been set up to explore more basic
interactivity solutions and was not necessarily funded to explore back-office compatibilities.
Even if so, it was heavily constrained by unfortunate delays as a result of 3rd party
development issues.

9.19     Coordination

The Digital TV Project and associated action plan delivered important cross industry
coordination. Government and industry, from transmission providers to broadcasters,
manufacturers to retailers and regulators to consumer groups are all cooperated and aimed to
achieve the criteria for switchover. Such coordination needs to be developed further,
especially between other Government departments, be they at a central or local level.

Relations with Digital UK (formerly Switchco) as the organisation charged with
implementation of digital switchover should be sought by departments.

This applies to the Scottish Executive, not least when the Scottish Borders is the first region to
face Digital Switchover in 2008.

9.19.1   DTG

Another group that government departments should engage with is the Digital TV Group
(DTG). It is developing its position as the key industry group with the ability to impact DTV
technology standards particularly for DTT. Their long association with the DVB and creation
of the d-book is a primary reason for this. While not being a government agency, DTG was
also included in DTV Project strategic and tactical meetings to ensure the most direct link
between Government department requirements and industry.

Marcus Coleman, the DTG’s Director General is one of two industry representatives that have
been invited to sit on the “Digital UK” Management board to assist in the development,
coordination and implementation of the switchover programme for the next seven years in
close cooperation with DTI, DCMS and OFCOM.

9.19.2   Intellect

Formed from merged BREMA and FEI organizations, the last two year have seen Intellect
develop a more outward facing approach. This has given rise to its emergence as the lead
organization representing manufacturers and particularly primary suppliers of televisions.
Intellect also has strong interests in the mobile phone sector and as such the ability to
represent those who may be best placed to develop new converged mobile and TV solutions.

DTI has already developed good relations with the Intellect organization at all levels and this
should be developed to encompass other departments’ interests too. Laurence Harrison who
heads Intellect’s Consumer Electronics Division is the other industry representative on the
Digital UK (formerly Switchco) board charged with representing the manufacturer
community’s interests.

Like the DTG Intellect is a core organisation that departments should seek to encourage
support from to help in developing suitable DiTV products.

9.19.3   Areas for improvement

Marketing Communications

Strong cooperation beginning to run between all Government departments involved in DTV,
the DTG and Intellect needs to be more firmly coordinated particularly in the marcoms area.
This is especially relevant when marketing communication to the citizen is to form a larger
part ongoing Switchover policy.

Individual departments such as DH (National Health Direct), DFES (Teachers TV) and local
authorities are all promoting their own “DTV branding” and associated websites. These
services need to be captured under umbrella brand activities to be proposed by “Digital UK”.
Importantly all related websites should be cross-linked to each other and future individual
marcoms plans crosschecked with the other parties.

Little marketing was sustained by the Scottish Executive for the DiTV trial. Any that was run
may have brought citizen confusion if not using standard DTV industry terminology.


The good relations established between the parties identified in the previous section needs to
be developed with others. This is particularly so in the broadband arena as IPTV begins to
emerge. Those active in the DTI led Broadband stakeholders group need to be brought closer
to the activities of those in broadcast related areas.


Various new mobile television solutions are emerging on sole and dual platform alternatives.
“Telly on the move” is already on offer from 3G operators such as Vodafone, Orange and “3”.
Then there are the trial activities being led by BT Livetime and Virgin with their DAB based
pilot and the DVB-H one in Oxford orchestrated by O2, Nokia and Arquiva.

In an inaugural DTI hosted Mobile TV Workshop, the DTG and MDA called for a UK
Mobile TV Taskforce. This is set to appear from the Autumn of 2005 when a first meeting is
expected to be held for all UK stakeholders with an active interest in developing the medium.

Rooftop / Wireless

Developments in the Rooftop /Mesh Radio/ Wireless arena have the potential to assist in
broadcast/broadband areas too. As well as for rural areas, such could offer useful solutions for
various multiple occupancy properties in congested urban areas. Those in the Scottish
Executive responsible for rooftop/wireless developments should be called on to work with
other department engaged in this area.

Basic incompatibility existed between the Scottish Executive’s DiTV offering and citizens’
requirements compounded by little pre trial dialogue and based on a PC simulation. It is also
anticipated that back end systems operated by Government were not compliant with the DiTV
platform used and prevented similar solutions as offered to citizens through traditional
channels. The selection of Carlton Active - a primary software developer for the competing
Mediahighway/MHEG ITVDigital DTT platform and biggest competitor to Sky and its
OpenTV/NDS Videoguard platform would have done little to assist in developing the Scottish
Executive DiTV portal requirements.

9.20     Convergence

Since before the start of the new millennium, talk has permeated through the electronics
sector about a coming together of the telecommunications, broadcast and computer industries.
Today such convergence is becoming a reality. However, not all has happened as industry had
expected. The association between the PC, Internet and television has yet failed to deliver
compelling consumer solutions at both hardware and service level.

The failure of much of the philosophy has been well documented and undoubtedly
played its part. Also the expectation that people without a PC would rush to use the Internet
via the TV as the ubiquitous display device in the home has been torn apart too.

Some attribute the failure due to the fact that Internet via TV product offerings has not
recognized display technology differences and the way they are viewed. However it is
becoming increasingly clear that even if the display technologies were the same, people
would still continue to use TV and PC/Internet differently.

While there will always be a few exceptions to the rule, fundamentally, consumers view the
TV as a shared entertainment device. They may adopt more “lean forward” based usage with
TV, but still turn to a PC and the Internet for the more information and transactional services
typically viewed alone.

When the Scottish Executive DiTV trial was initiated, it was reliant on standard CRT TV
display technologies. LCD and Plasma TVs that are now readily available and affordable
were not in 2002.

9.20.1   Context

Clearly there are significant trends in terms of technology platforms becoming harmonized
across different industries and associated products.

As an example, Linux is no longer a PC competitor for Microsoft in the PC arena; the open
source alternative is now a major technology for such as the Sony PS series games console
development and more recently a new platform for Motorola mobile phones.

IP based devices and software are now appearing in most industry sectors from brown to
white goods, fixed and mobile solutions as well as PCs. However, while technology comes
together, products remain quite distinct from each other fuelled by the way the user wants to
consume content. Depending where they are and the appropriateness of the device, citizens
continue to use different devices rather than a single “all singing, all dancing” product.

Some successes such as mobile phones that combine with digital cameras or carry data
storage have been tempered by demand and release of new basic alternatives such as the
Vodafone Simply mobile phone concept. Significantly, this back to basics solution has been
created for and targeted at the older consumer – clearly highlighting that the older citizens are
not as well disposed to advanced feature products.

Freeview DTT as a more basic DTV solution with fewer channels and features continues to
be the preferred platform for the older age groups.

The Scottish Executive did not give sufficient consideration to the match of their content and
the available technology platforms or more importantly how citizens use them.

9.20.2   Netgem

Netgem remains alone as a STB manufacturer that argues there is a market for a converged
TV /browser based solution. They have enjoyed some relatively strong sales, but research has
shown this is largely attributed to the product being available when others were not or due to
being alone in carrying Audio description capability for the visually impaired.

Relatively few have been utilised for Internet browsing, indeed many Netgem owners do not
have their receivers connected to a telephone line and remain unable to browse the web.

Recent months has seen them drop their pricing radically and also widen their ISP selection to
the choice of the citizen. This has yet to reveal radical differences in uptake.

Local Government trials

The Netgem i-Player STB has been deployed in local government DiTV pilots such as
Somerset and more significantly in the Hillingdon pilot. The ODPM digiTV project refers to
the Netgem product alone as a Freeview DTT source. In short, it is seen as the one and only
DTT product for Government.

Hopefully, any existing trials and others can make great inroads in delivering government
electronic services, but there generally appears to be no contingency plan if not, both in terms
of moving to an alternative product or an information-only based DTT service.

Significantly, those in the ODPM DigiTV Project indicate that the Hillingdon Netgem based
trial has developed a business case for DiTV. However, the full service is now being migrated
to satellite and cable platforms alone.

The Netgem iPlayer was launched in November 2002 and may not have been fully visible to
the Scottish Executive. However as a DTT based product it may have offered less scope for
reaching citizens. In addition, as highlighted above it would not necessarily improved take-up
of the DiTV services any further.

9.20.3   Spectrum regulation

For many new converged platforms and services to emerge and develop new spectrum
management processes will need to be adopted and critically new bandwidth allocations to be

Spectrum is a finite and very valuable resource for the country. OFCOM as the regulator is
charged with maximizing the full potential of it while enabling must have services (such as
emergency and air traffic control systems) to continue unhindered plus also prevent
interference between services here and neighboring countries on the Continent.

OFCOM have undertaken a more open minded and market led approach to enable
convergence between technologies and services to emerge. However, they cannot free certain
spectrum until existing services are migrated. A leading example is being unable to release
valuable UHF capacity – attractive to many in the mobile telecoms and TV and radio
broadcast industries, until after 2012 when Digital switchover is completed.

This is frustrating some key players interested in developing commercial mobile TV, or DAB
radio based products and services. However, OFCOM cannot move earlier due to UK
spectrum release being inexorably linked to the Regional Radio Conference (RRC) and World
Radio Conference (WRC) allocations.

These forums plan, allocate and regulate spectrum allocation for each country in combination
with all others. The next RRC is being held in 2006 where those in Europe and the UK will
come together to harmonise the planned use of their allotted spectrum without interference to
each others services. In 2007, the RRC output will then be taken to the WRC for clearance
and alignment with other RRC conference outputs.

Until then it is impossible for Government and OFCOM to finally clear the way for existing
and new converged technologies.

At the time of the Scottish Executive DiTV launch there was little other than talk of
convergence. New activities now taking place in all areas of the industry could help further
the potential for the service going forward.

9.21     Commercial

9.21.1   Manufacturers

There are several technology areas that need to be developed to provide products attractive to
the Scottish Executive and other Public Sector groups. Such might include return channel
capability on Freeview, simplified interfaces and compatible back office solutions.

Commercial viability remains the primary concern for manufacturers. They need real
evidence of demand and profitability to consider moving to develop any new solution not
least when already engaged in fast moving and lucrative markets.

Typically they will measure the case for development of new products or services through:

         •   Confirmed orders/ongoing requirement

         •   Minimum volume levels measured against a long-term market or

         •   Commonality with existing products that require minimum or no new

Typically a minimum order level required for developing a new DTV product line is around
100,000 pieces. This can sometimes be split over 1-3 month delivery periods, depending on
the manufacturer and more importantly the closeness to an existing model already being
produced. Manufacturers normally look for a minimum 3 month rolling order–the first being
fixed and the second, third being adjustable. This is to tie into their component
ordering/production ramping planning routines. Nowadays manufacturers do not tend to take
risks on new unproven markets especially when many felt the pain of the crashes.

The above is clearly something that needs to be understood by many, not least in the Scottish
Executive and other Government department, especially those aiming to run small-scale
short-term trials.

Common requirements need to be established across all Public sector departments involved in
DiTV and ideally linked to some form of centralized procurement system. The latter may
prove extremely difficult when departments have individual objectives along with many
different administration systems and networks.

9.21.2   Internet Business Models

Many of the Government departments / authorities who were are or active in the DiTV arena
have adopted Internet oriented business modelling built on portal subsidy revenues etc.

With the possible exception of Netgem, this is alien to TV and STB manufacturers. Some
who have felt the pain of the .com crash before or attempts at Internet based thinking
previously in the TV domain. Many have also encountered problems with the likes of Open
on Skydigital and ONnet on ITV digital prior to both collapsing.

Government departments seeking manufacturer support will need to refer and work to
standard sales methodology practices to generate significant interest.

The Scottish Executive DiTV initiatives, like so many for other Central / Local Government
and Public sector bodies, were largely developed as stand alone solutions built on existing
commercial propositions focused on consumer services.

There is a need for Government to work together to further develop best practices and
common services built on standard propositions that can derive substantial volumes and
economies of scale. Armed with such there is more chance of engaging with industry to
develop suitable DiTV solutions in the future.

10       Usability & Accessibility
This section reinforces the thread throughout the report on DiTV not addressing the elderly
and other vulnerable groups. Some Government initiatives may be better placed than others to
address this resource hungry community. However none really take account of core physical
and other impairments that can impact the elderly in particular and prevent their full
engagement with products and services. These factors are detailed in the section and should
be taken account of in any DTV developments be they Government derived or not.

10.1     Government and Citizen mismatch

A fundamental mismatch between Government desires and citizen take up of DTV is
becoming increasingly visible and may cause future difficulties, at least for local authority
DTV projects.

In short, central and local government initiatives are currently centred on cable, satellite and
DSL platforms and aimed largely at addressing issues of the older generation. However,
according to current data, the older generation is more disposed to Freeview DTT as a simpler
platform and is the least interested in interactivity.

According to most local authorities 80% of their costs can be attributed to addressing around
20% of citizens. These typically fall into the older age groups containing poorer individuals,
often living alone and unable to get out of their homes easily. Many of these people rely on
their TV for company and use it intensively.

However, it appears that many in such groups have no real desire for digital TV or at least the
heavy interactive based platforms currently being evaluated under Central and local
government trials. Apart from one or two exceptions, such trials are all being run on cable,
satellite or DSL platforms reliant on a return path. It is however becoming increasingly
apparent is that a significant section of the fast growing base of Freeview DTT products is
taken by the older generation where no return path is provided.

Various presentations and reports given on the 17th September 2003 at the London Business
School “The Evolution of Digital TV” Seminar supported this. There, Continental Research
showed that while 21% of total digital TV homes were those aged, the same age group
represented 37% of *solus freeview homes (those with DTV via Freeview DTT only).

Similarly, Enders Analysis revealed
that in April 2003, 26.5% of DTT
homes were of those aged 55+ while
the same age group accounted for just
14.3% of DST homes in the month.
Linked with this, 31.4% of those with
DTT fell into the older and poorer DE
social classification compared with

25.8% of the same group owning DSAT.

At the same seminar, a presentation
by a representative of BSkyB’s
media division clearly showed that
primary DTV Interactors on
Skydigital are upmarket and young.
Again this further reinforced that
government pilots aimed at
addressing older and poorer
inhabitants may be better served by
Freeview DTT.

Usability and Accessibility factors that tend to inflict the elderly more are set to compound
problems in deploying DTV enhanced and interactive elements not least via Freeview DTT.

Elderly people represent the largest
proportion of the television viewing
public and at the same time
represent a proportion of society
which is least familiar with the
conventions and practices of today’s
information presentation. For many
interpreting:    menus,      matrices,
hypertext     links,    soft    keys,
hierarchies and icons is an everyday
task, but it can present special
challenges for elderly people,
challenges which may soon become
unavoidable. Electronic programme
guides, interactive television, home servers and home networks will all require some
knowledge of information display and retrieval processes, not to mention a level of physical
ability to manipulate the input device and visual acuity to read the on-screen text.

                                                        Difficulties for elderly people often
                                                        arise, not so much because they do
                                                        not know how to use the systems,
                                                        but because the designers of
                                                        individual services have not been
                                                        thoughtful enough to consider the
                                                        cognitive, sensory and physical
                                                        limitations that so many potential
                                                        users will suffer from. Navigating
                                                        deep hierarchical structures, for

example, can be impossible for people with short-term memory problems; breaking
conventions of display style to achieve a ‘creative’ corporate look can simply lead to
confusion; inappropriate choices of colour can render text illegible when seen through an
elderly eye lens; and pointing a cursor at an inadequately small soft key can be impossible
with muscular tremor.

The usability problems identified in Scientific Generics research for the DTI will affect all
users across the population to varying extents. For those with sensory, motor and cognitive
impairments, the effect will simply be more significant. Each usability problem will also
affect people with different types of impairment to different degrees. During product selection
and purchasing it is therefore vital that citizens with any type of impairment can be informed
as to which piece of equipment is designed most appropriately for their specific range of

Each capability type has different needs and each Freeview DTT manufacturer has taken a
different design approach to the functionality that their STB and ITV provides. If the product
is not well matched to a user’s particular needs, there will be a high likelihood of usability and
accessibility problems.

Work is being carried out by the Digital Television Group (DTG) on access technologies for
deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired people. Access technologies include audio
description, subtitling and signing.

During the three stages of use, namely getting started, basic use and advanced use, there are a
number of issues that specifically affect the different impairments. These are described in the
sections below.

10.2     Visual Impairment

Many of the usability issues observed in Generics research have a significant impact on blind
and visually impaired people. When compared with analogue TV, digital TV offers many
more channels and many more functions. This means that users have to deal with more on-
screen instructions and more buttons on the remote control. Many users will be unable to
memorise all the necessary control sequences, which implies a need for more frequent and
rapid switching between short-range vision (for the remote control) and medium range vision
(for the screen).

This may require some people to continually change their glasses, which is inconvenient and
time-consuming. This constitutes a serious usability problem for elderly people, or others,
who have two sets of glasses.

In addition, many usability problems which affect analogue TV also affect digital TV, but
more severely. For example:

Printed instructions and user manuals, etc – Printed instruction materials supplied with
analogue TV are very variable in quality and readability. Given the greater functionality and
complexity of digital TV, and hence the greater need for clear written instructions, the
consequences of any readability deficiencies will be more severe.

Recognising and locating buttons on the remote control – The remote controls for digital
TV are similar in size to those for analogue TV, and in each case visually impaired users can

encounter problems of readability of the text labels and icons used to indicate the functions of
the buttons. However with Digital TV there are potentially more buttons on the remote, more
dedicated buttons to use and more operations to remember. Therefore there will be a greater
reliance on sight to recognise and locate the appropriate buttons. This implies that the means
by which the functionality of the buttons is conveyed to the user is increasingly important.

Reading the on-screen display – Many users of analogue TV are unfamiliar with the use of
on-screen displays. With digital TV, their use is often mandatory, so there is a consequent
increase in the need to read information on the screen. If a user cannot easily read the
information on screen, then the wrong button may be pressed in response, or the user may
find themselves in an unintended location.

All these factors indicate that visual impairment is more likely to cause usability problems
with digital TV than with analogue TV.

10.3     Hearing Impairment

In general, hearing impairment does not affect a user’s ability to interact with digital TV and
to navigate through the system. However, other accessibility difficulties can arise for those
with impaired hearing:

Subtitles – Access to subtitles is particularly important and therefore needs to be easily
achieved. The RNID suggests that accessing subtitles should be as easy as adjusting the sound
volume, implying that users should be able to toggle the subtitles on and off with one button.
In addition, it is also important to have them remain on the screen when the channel is
changed. While most STB remote controls offer a dedicated subtitle button to switch subtitles
on or off, some STBs have subtitle control buried within complex menu structures.

It is therefore important for those who need subtitles to know which STB’s provide them most
easily. The speed of subtitling can also be a problem with current STB’s.

Volume – The facility to adjust volume is extremely important to those with hearing
difficulties. Some STB’s do not support volume control on their remote controls, which
makes this facility less accessible.

Literacy – Literacy difficulties face some deaf people for whom English is their second
language (typically prelingually deaf people for whom British Sign Language is their first
language). Using digital TV to the full, which includes using the EPG and interactive
functionality, places an increased demand on the ability to read. Hence people with a low
level of literacy are likely to experience accessibility problems.

10.4     Dexterity Impairment

Digital TV generally requires more use of the remote control than analogue TV. Therefore,
any dexterity-related problems that people already have with analogue TV will be more
exclusionary with DTV. The additional exclusion is one of degree, rather than of kind, just as
it was in the case of visual impairment

Factors such as button size and height, compactness of button layout, location of specific
buttons etc can all affect the usability of the remote control and hence of the DTV system as a

Button sensitivity – Digital TV places a greater reliance on scrolling through channels or
menus. A common difficulty experienced is ‘overshooting’, i.e. the user missing their choice
and running past on to a subsequent option. This can be due to many aspects including
location and size of the button, but predominantly results from the sensitivity of the button.

Compact layout –Remote controls for digital TV often include more buttons, and buttons
located in clusters for related functions such as scrolling. As a result, a common difficulty is
the pressing of more than one button when only one was intended.

Remote Control Complexity – There is a trade-off between providing a dedicated button for
a function and adding more buttons to the remote control, not only in cost but also in the
perceived complexity of the remote control from the user’s point of view. A significant
proportion of the user’s time could be spent searching for specific dedicated buttons, but also
that embedding functions in complex menu structures also has many disadvantages.

While different remote controls embody different trade-offs, the trade-offs are not always
working to the benefit of people with impairments.

10.5     Cognitive Impairment

This remains as one of the largest issues when dealing with the elderly. Understanding how to
interact with digital TV is undoubtedly more complex for most users than with analogue TV
and especially so for the older citizen.

For example, in general, more control steps are needed to achieve the same end result, such as
watching a TV programme. This is one of several factors which indicate that a different
mental model is involved in interacting with digital TV. The mental model for analogue TV is
simple, intuitive and even ingrained in most people through habit, but that for Digital TV has
moved from the traditional TV interaction paradigms towards a model much closer to that of
the personal computer (PC).

Generics research has shown that digital TV makes many specific and challenging demands
on the user’s cognitive ability. For example:

         •    Understanding how the STB interacts with existing “legacy “equipment in the

         •    Realising that there can be time delays between cause and effect, which can
              cause confusion and affect the user’s confidence, potentially leading to greater

Understanding the way in which elements of the on-screen display are intended to correspond
to the buttons on the remote control. Some picked up on the wrong clues and made incorrect
associations between the two interfaces.

         •      The need for literacy is also greater for DTV. The usability problems outlined
                above are important barriers to those with impairments, but they also affect the
                broader population. In particular, the cognitive issues associated with the
                modified mental model which applies to digital TV mean that it is not only
                those with learning disabilities who may find the type of interaction required
                with Digital TV difficult.

It is likely that people who have limited confidence or who are simply not experienced with
technology of this type will also have difficulties in interacting with digital.

Unfortunately DiTV design appears to have largely been based on the conceptual models of
keyboard-based systems but the users, skills, goals and attitude of interaction differ. The TV
audience is more diverse with some having no prior computer experience. It must be
recognised that DiTV is not a PC and therefore can not be treated as such i.e. technically a TV
has a lower screen resolution and only a limited means of control and input. These factors
impose various constraints.

Typically the viewing distance from a TV screen is between 10 and 15 feet with viewers
tending to lean back in more relaxed/passive mode on sofas or armchairs, often with more
than one person watching at the same time. This compares with the PC where viewing is done
from less than 2 feet away from the screen. The viewing is typically done by a sole person
and in a more lean forward engaged mode.

For visually impaired people to view a TV they often use magnifying devices such as
monoculars, binoculars, hand held or stand magnifiers. Some visually impaired people may
sit very close to their screens. These do not always help them distinguish colours, shapes,
graphical information or moving information. Blind people prefer audio assistance to interact
with systems. If available, a visually impaired person may need someone else to access
functions making the experience less than complete when viewed independently.

The centrally positioned ‘safe area’ on a screen is where text is less distorted and graphics do
not bleed – spill into one another – at the edges. The boundary area, outside the safe area is
susceptible to distortion because TV manufacturers deal with the screen edges differently. TV
screens are designed to display moving images so fine stationary lines are problematic
because they tend to flicker, pulse, or ‘interlace’. From a distance small patterns or text in
graphics can be difficult to decipher even for fully sighted people.

Even though a TV screen may be larger than a computer monitor, the ‘safe area’, the lower
resolution and longer viewing distance mean that the image size on the retina is much smaller
than when looking at a computer. This has implications for the interface design and legibility
of any typefaces used.

Of course as the take up of new LCD and plasma displays increase the users will benefit from
less issues around interlaced displays and related artifacts.

10.5.1   Text

The size and position of visual information on the screen may determine whether a visually
impaired person can perceive it or not. Text should be displayed sparingly in small paragraphs
so it can be read more easily. Light text on a dark background is easier to read on a TV

screen. High contrast is always an important factor. A large – 24 point minimum – sans serif
typeface should be used. Increased line spacing will increase readability, but this requires
more screens to display the same amount of information so clear navigation becomes
increasingly important. Multiple columns can be difficult to negotiate.

10.5.2   Colours

Colours appear more vivid on TV screens as opposed to computer screens. A palette with a
maximum of 85% (saturation) brightness should be used to avoid colour associated distortion
e.g. blooming, chroma-crawl, interlace flicker, and moré patterns. Contrast between colours is
an important principle to provide differentiation between background and foreground
features. Very light backgrounds can create glare and can make superimposed features seem
smaller and darker whereas the opposite is found with darker backgrounds.

Subtitling is usually displayed on a solid black background with the position determined by
the person generating the subtitles. In live programmes, such as football matches, this can
cause problems, so it has been suggested that a semi-transparent background be used with
contrasting edging to the characters. This would help following the action behind the text box
but with some loss of visual contrast of the text.

10.5.3   Teletext

On analogue television it is possible to convert the textual part of teletext into synthetic
speech or Braille. The exception is when the position of the text has meaning; for instance the
temperatures on a weather map. The equivalent of teletext on digital television has proven
more difficult to convert to non-visual output.

10.5.4   Signing

On digital terrestrial television in the UK there is a legal obligation to provide signing for deaf
viewers for some programmes. The preferred method of achieving this is to use a human
signer transmitted on a separate channel, and the picture displayed in a corner of the display.
This is expensive in terms of the cost of skilled signers and the duplication of television
channels. Therefore research is being done on less expensive methods which could be
acceptable to the deaf viewers.

10.5.5   Clean Audio

Some visually impaired people may also have a hearing impairment. Many people with a
hearing impairment have problems in understanding speech when there is a background
sound. One possibility would be to provide a ‘clean audio’ channel which provides the speech
without any background music or other sounds. With digital television, the cost of providing
an extra audio channel is modest. The extra production costs are small compared to the
number of people who would be helped by such a facility.

10.5.6   Audio Description

People with impaired vision can find it difficult to follow the plot of a television programme
especially when there are periods of silence. To alleviate this problem some of the digital
television programmes in the UK include audio description. Audio description is where a
description of the visual aspects of a television scene is inserted in the gaps in the dialogue.
Audio description can enable not only the visually impaired to get more enjoyment from tv
programmes, but also people with learning difficulties, older people and indeed sighted
people (who like to watch TV while doing other tasks such as ironing).

The description should not overlap the dialogue and should be provided in the present tense.
This should not include a person interpretation of the on-screen events but a clarification of
what is occurring.

At present there are two transmission systems for audio description:

Digital satellite television (BSkyB) broadcasts audio description using the “pre-mix” or
“open” method. That means that the audio description is an integral part of the soundtrack and
is heard by everyone in the room. However there is no need to buy any special equipment but
the settings on the television have to be changed.

The method preferred by the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 is known as “receiver-mixed” or
“closed”. This is much more flexible – users can change the volume of both the audio
description and the original programme. It is also possible for an individual to listen to the
audio description using headphones whilst others only hear the original programme. However
the right equipment is needed in order to receive the audio description.

Channel 5 was the first public service broadcaster to provide audio description on the digital
satellite provider BSkyB but the levels of audio described programmes are still very low.
Since the end of 2003 audio description has been available on Freeview on a few channels.
The Netgem ‘i-Player AD’ is the first set-top box for digital terrestrial television that can
receive audio description. This box allows the audio described volume to be adjusted
independently from the main soundtrack; it also speaks the name of the TV channel as it is
changed. It has been designed to allow for the future possibility of audio programme listings
and headphones which transmit the audio described track.

There have been various European Union initiatives to promote ‘inclusive design’, whereby
good design for disabled and elderly people is frequently good design for everyone. However,
the majority of digital set-top boxes and their associated remote controls have not been
designed to suit the needs of elderly people and those with disabilities.

The remote control handsets have numerous small buttons with legends that are difficult to
see, making correct operation difficult for those with poor eyesight or dexterity problems, and
the indicators and controls on the set-top boxes are difficult to see and to reach, especially
when the so-called set-top box is mounted in its more usual position, underneath the
television display.

Professor John Gill of the RNIB has advised that when it is known that a very large
percentage of the television audience, especially during the daytime and non-peak viewing
hours, is made up of disabled and elderly people, it seems surprising that broadcasters and

equipment manufacturers have not given more thought to providing access to this group of

Unfortunately, the very word ‘disabled’ often conjures up completely wrong images of a
small niche group of people who don’t have much money to spend, and it is fascinating to
learn some of the real facts, including the one that at any particular time this group will
include around 0.5% of the population who are temporarily ‘disabled’ because of illness or
accidents. That effectively means that perhaps 300,000 people in the UK who usually lead
normal working lives could be at home watching television for a period of ‘sick leave’ on any
given day – an ideal captive audience for the TV home shopping channels.

10.6    The disadvantages of ageing

The UK has an ageing demographic and there is no question that even some amongst the
healthiest of older people will suffer some impairments, physical and mental, and it makes
good sense for those who are designing television based equipment to take account of this if
they want to maximise the potential market for digital services going forward.

People over 50 years of age naturally have less good vision than when they were younger. Bi-
focals are common, more light is needed to see fine details, and reflective glare is often more
problematical than for younger people. These visual disadvantages apply to the vast majority
of ‘ordinary’ people who wouldn’t consider themselves as being blind or partially sighted, but
it is worth noting that there are in addition to all these people some 11 million people
throughout Europe who are classified as having ‘low vision’, defined as an ability to utilise
some aspects of visual perception, but with a greater dependency on information received
from other sources. If the controls and displays on digital TV systems could be designed to
suit people who have difficulty in seeing clearly, the market for TV interactive type services
would be much expanded, at little cost.

10.7    Maximising the digital audience

It is in the interests of all those involved with the production of TV programmes and
electronic information services such as Email, Tele-banking and home-shopping to ensure
that their various services are available to as large an audience as possible. Demographic
statistics clearly show that there will be an increasing population of elderly people over the
next few decades, and designers of equipment, TV programmes, and the multiplicity of new
digital services could maximise the take up of their services at modest cost in terms of both
time and finance by thinking about how ‘inclusive design’ techniques might be simply
applied to their particular areas of expertise.

10.8    Usability, Accessibility and DiTV trials

A fundamental factor in all major DiTV trials to date is that none have considered usability
and accessibility issues in any detail. Rather all have simply tried to deploy the available
DTV products typically from Sky and cable and adopted a wide approach to target a general
audience. More positively use of Sky has benefited Government based pilots with the current
best in class remote control. BSkyB spent a lot of time and money to develop a large
ergonomic shaped handset with large well spaced keys that are clearly differentiated by shape,
texture and colour. Such a remote is well placed to address those with dexterity and sight

impairment. However Sky themselves have not promoted this and neither have those who
have adopted the Sky digital product.

 Audio description services are now being broadcast by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and
others. These can be received on Sky digital satellite services, cable and on the Netgem
iPlayer AD DTT model only. Those Government trials that have deployed these solutions
have not promoted to their visually impaired citizens in a similar way as seen on websites.
This may be attributed in part to the broadcasters and platform operators not promoting
effectively plus the fact that services were not really developed until after 2003.

The Cabinet Offuce eGU has been actively working with the RNIB and RNID on accessibility
areas but as yet failed to develop any trial activities or produced anything that has been
adopted by the manufacturing and broadcast industries.

More positively, one of the more successful trials has been the Silver Surfers trial ran by
Nuneaton and Bedworth Council .This was designed to give those aged 50+ access to the
Internet through a box that plugged into their TV. Training was run by people of a similar
age. However the box was essentially only an Internet browser without any DTV. MSU
Devices, the hardware suppliers for the set top boxes and keyboards have now ceased trading
and the company who develop the software for the kiosk applications have gone into
administration, requiring alternate suppliers to be sought.

11       The Potential for the ODPM Starter Kit

11.1     Starter Kit Background

The Starter Kit has certainly benefited others in the public sector – notably local authorities
(LA) who can now enjoy substantial savings both in terms time for developing applications
and significantly in costs for digital platform carriage.

Prior to the Starter Kits introduction, LA’s wishing to launch a DiTV proposition had to
engage with platform operators (Sky digital, NTL and Telewest) agree individual terms for
carriage on the platform usually on the basis of a 12 month’s tenancy.

In addition, they may have needed to contract with third party software developers to build an
application/s that was compliant and proven to be robust under the platform operators’ strict
testing regime. BSkyB as the leading platform with the highest base of receivers were and are
keen to ensure that their network, customers and business are not compromised. Therefore
they are apt to apply particular rigorous and lengthy evaluation / approval procedures via
SSSL Testing.

This proved to be a real issue for many LA’s who have seen their launch timetable’s slip due
to needing to manage relations with the software developers and the operator’s evaluation
teams – the latter being more focused on clearing core entertainment based applications first.

The cost for carriage on an individual platform can prove to be extremely expensive for
Central Government departments never mind smaller local authorities and public sector
organisations. Indeed the DWP indicate that they had to withdraw from offering a pensions
DiTV service on Skydigital due to the cost of carriage in relation to low user take up at a time
there were more important areas they needed to apply resources to.

The DigiTV Starter Kit is based on XML and is broadly consistent with BSkyB’s own
WtvML platform for SkyActive. As a consequence DigiTV’s development team have secured
the operator’s support and importantly SSSL approval for the Starter Kit Technology.
Critically, DigiTV/ODPM have secured radically improved costs of carriage. This is based on
being able to pull together up to 12 LA’s who can each gain carriage as part of a cluster deal.
This can result in the LA needing to pay £10,000 per year to reside on the Sky digital satellite

The section below from DigiTV clearly shows how savings can be made.

11.2     DigiTV Costs

11.2.1   Before the DigiTV National Project

Several local authorities had negotiated their own contracts with the platform suppliers.

Bespoke development of the service was costly and ensured that there were no common
standards between the local authority systems.

Worst case Local Authority Cost for DiTV service:

£1,200,000 – one off set-up fee

£90,000 – per year tenancy fees for ONE platform

TOTAL - £1,290,000 (for a service on one platform).

11.2.2   Now; the DigiTV Set Up – Worst Case

Standard contract, template solution, common standards.

Local Authority Cost for DiTV service if launch alone:

£0 – development/set-up (as all paid for by DigiTV)

£60,000 – tenancy fees for THREE platforms pa

£5,000 – maintenance fees pa

TOTAL - £65,000 pa for THREE platforms.

11.2.3   Now: The DigiTV Set Up – Best Case

The DigiTV contract allows 12 Local Authorities to work together – forming a cluster – and
share the cost. If a cluster is complete with all 12 members then the cost for DiTV service can
be as little as:

£0 – set-up (as all paid for by DigiTV)

£5,000 – tenancy fees for THREE platforms pa

£5,000 – maintenance fees pa

TOTAL - £10,000 per authority pa

These figures do not include internal resource required to set up and maintain the site and
local marketing costs that need to be factored into the equation, the latter is imperative for the
launch and sustained take-up of the service.

The DigiTV National Project has thus made a worst case saving per Local Authority of up to
£1,225,000 (without even factoring in the work required for other platforms) and up to
£1,280,000 if sharing the cost with other partners.

11.3     A Kirklees managed project – reliant on ODPM funding

The Starter Kit is a centrally built and maintained technology provided by the DigiTV
national project sponsored/funded by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) and is
led by Kirklees Metropolitan Council.

11.3.1   Focused on Local Authorities

The Starter Kit is aimed at local authorities and provides an entry level product that can
provide a presence (micro site) on those UK DiTV platforms with a return path. The Starter
kit usefully offers basic user interface consistency and uniformity for all LA’s to provide
some level of standardization for Government DiTV initiatives.

The Starter Kit is a product combining software, hosting options, implementation and
deployment support for “major DiTV platforms” and has been developed based on
collaboration with L.A’s involved in DigiTV.

The Starter Kit software is used to manage the content, design, and publishing of DigiTV
micro sites. This means that the Starter Kit will allow Local Authority (and affiliated
agencies) to control, maintain and publish information on digital interactive TV platforms for
their citizens who have digital TV.

11.3.2   Centrally Managed

The technology and templates are maintained centrally by Kirklees, all information, services
and functionality will be created and managed by the Local Authority, via a web-based
content management system. This allows the Local Authority to promote information and
services most suited to their particular community and in line with wider strategies, on their
micro site.

11.3.3   Shared local enhancements

A Local Authority can commission any local enhancements, however those managing the
DigiTV project work under the premise that any enhancement commissioned (and paid for)
locally is made available to all other Local Authorities. This provides a fast upgrade path for
other’s services and maintains a consistent “look and feel” to all services of those involved.

11.3.4   Plug-in

“A Starter Kit Plug-in” is available. This is an Application Programming Interface (API) that
enables L.A’s to deliver their key back-end systems/transactions over DiTV. A full data
schema is provided with the Starter Kit, enabling a L.A based web application to deliver the
functionality required without the need for an understanding of the underlying DiTV

11.3.5   e@SYConnects GP Appointments system

The GP appointments system developed by South Yorkshire (e@SYConnects) Council has
set the precedent for using the Plug In. TV users are able to book review and cancel GP
appointments with their local surgery. The API plug-in communicates with the native booking
system deployed by the surgery.

This solution has provided a useful alternative and simple to use system for users in South
Yorkshire and as approximately 4000 other UK surgeries utilize the same booking technology
they could also offer their own patients the same solution and benefit the existing
overstretched surgeries administration.

11.3.6   A successful application

One of the biggest cost generators for GPs’ surgeries is missed appointments. Gary Simpson
who leads the South Yorkshire DiTV initiative advises that the system has been successful in
reducing the number of these by an average 12.5% per day. This has released a number of
available appointments and addresses the bulk of the 44% increase in eBookings that the
Starter kit based service has delivered.

11.4     Future of the Starter Kit ?
The Starter Kit remains inexorably linked to the ODPM and the latter’s funding of the
Kirklees managed DigiTV project. Interestingly some of those that were involved in DigiTV
have either moved on or are now engaged in addressing other areas. Such is also being
compounded by little sign of radical savings or service take up for local authorities via the
Starter Kit, BSkyB’s own inexpensive Sky interactive portal being introduced and increasing
success of Freeview DTT – which continues to be incompatible with the Starter Kit. All of
these factors have the potential to limit the Starter Kit being extended.

12       Conclusions
The UK continues to be the leading DiTV market in the World. BSkyB’s Sky digital satellite
service is the current largest platform and base of the Scottish Executive DiTV trial. However,
take up is slowing and churn beginning to rise above target levels. The operator is preparing
to launch new top end HDTV and other solutions but these may not be well suited to Scottish
Executive DiTV ambitions.

Freeview DTT is fast approaching Sky digital take up levels and is responsible for the vast
majority of UK DTV growth. Critically it is the platform of choice for the elderly and poorer
groups who as core users of Government services appreciate its simpler and less expensive
offerings. The simplicity brings some limitations and significantly with one exception current
and planned future Freeview DTT receivers do not offer any direct return channel for true two
way interactivity. This may not be critical as DiTV continues to fail as a compelling key
driver and means of electronic service delivery. Furthermore simpler enhanced TV one way
services or others that capitalise on existing combined DTV/ Mobile phone synergies could
provide strong alternatives to communicate with citizens.

Digital switchover initiatives are to be introduced from 2008 on a region by region base,
implemented by Digital UK (formerly Switchco) with advance marketing from this year. This
will benefit Freeview DTT in particular as the direct replacement for the ceased analogue
services. The market in the UK for analogue TV will rapidly decline and Freeview digital
television is set to become the dominant platform for digital television.

Cable growth is constrained by merger discussions between NTL and DSL based IPTV
services currently attract very low numbers in comparison to the main platforms in part due to
very localised propositions residing on suitable broadband networks in London and Hull.
However, the IPTV sector is forecast by many to explode within the next three to five years
and could provide the most relevant medium by which the Scottish Executive develops their
DiTV plans.

Key elements include BT promising near ubiquitous broadband reach from 2006, along with
significant growth and availability of wireless alternatives plus the cable networks
increasingly richer services will provide the required infrastructure. Operators are continually
updating their basic broadband speeds and for no extra charge and are expected to exceed
10Mbps in a couple of years and higher beyond 2010. Rapid advances in compression
technologies means the available bandwidth can be optimised for more and richer interactive
services too. This with the growth in PVRs, VOD and content availability online will see
more IPTV enabled devices reside in homes and provide the Scottish Executive an inherent
base to target.

Of the other two primary emerging platforms, HDTV may be less useful for the Scottish
Executive due to being an expensive and bandwidth hungry niche that is not set to attract the
core elderly and poorer demographics, as well as many others. On the other hand mobile TV
could build on the already strong mobile phone market in the UK. It now extends to late
adopter groups too through new easy to use propositions such as Vodafone Simply and with
new TV solutions could give the Scottish Executive useful means of delivering personalised
secure services to individuals.

Providing DTV based applications to the citizen if of course made difficult by the different
vertical and horizontal marketing management applied by operators built on different
platform, hardware and software platforms. The EU is pushing for interoperable standards and
industry stakeholders around the World continue to develop various technologies such as
MHP, PCF, and TV anytime. However with little benefit being seen thus far from these little
real take up has developed and the UK armed with the largest market and legacy of receivers
successfully argues for maintaining existing solutions.

The ODPM DigiTV Starter Kit currently provides simpler and lower cost means of
developing Government electronic services for the Sky digital and cable platforms. However,
Sky Interactive’s new e-portal initiatives built on the more TV centric WtvML platform and
backed by the full might of BSkyB could provide a compelling low cost alternative. This
service however remains platform specific and limited to those with Satellite television.

All of the significant developments identified need to be measured against the fundamental
fact that Digital Interactivity offers limited scope for developing high use or cost reduction
benefits in Government electronic service delivery. Successful DiTV applications are those
that recognise and build on the TV principally being an entertainment device. Many are
enhanced (one way) propositions that are short and critically either form part of the
programme or directly linked to the programme content.

Many Government DiTV initiatives have ended – and not necessarily as a result of low usage/
high costs but often simply being tactical “box ticking” exercises that enable authorities to
secure budget. Some have lost the taste for a longer term strategic approach to DiTV built on
strong business cases when the lead from the Cabinet Office has been dropped and few
examples of DiTV demand/use have been seen. Some departments have fared better due to
recognising and working with the various constraints that DTV brings. Notable examples are
the DFES Teachers TV Project and to a lesser extent the e@SYConnections Local Authority
service for Doctors Appointments. The pilots that have been most effective tend to be those
that have been more intensively marketed or focus on providing a specific area of service such
as e@SYConnects and Teachers TV.

None of the existing Government broadcast based DiTV initiatives are really focused on
addressing the elderly, poorer and to a lesser extent the ethnic communities. These groups
remain as the core users of public sector services and any ongoing DiTV initiatives should
address them, not least the former when the UK has an ageing population and some that have
high disposable income. The platform most likely to capture the highest audience from these
groups is Freeview.

Providing more appropriate content alone is not the answer. Those developing propositions
for the elderly must take account of various accessibility elements. In addition to various
physical impairments such as loss of sight, hearing, dexterity and mobility a core issue
remains in the cognitive shortfall of many.

This report has aimed to provide the Scottish Executive with a strong guide on the core issues
and how they pertain to their previous DiTV project. More importantly, it should show how
they can further develop DiTV or move into alternative arenas in due course.

13       Further Recommendations
1. In the short to medium term the Scottish Executive should remain focused on simpler,
   enhanced TV, one way information services, or others that capitalise on existing
   combined DTV & Mobile phone synergies. This could provide strong alternatives to
   communicate with citizens. These services could be delivered on the Freeview platform to
   attract the largest potential audience, particularly those most in need of Public services.

2. It is also critical to provide content that is interesting, useful and refreshed on a regular
   basis. This will offer the greatest opportunity of attracting a higher number of regular

3. Explore partnerships with broadcasters such as the BBC and Sky who have extensive
   marketing capability and may have an interest in delivering public services at a local
   level. The Scottish Executive’s DiTV service focused heavily on local services.
   Consequently, they may wish to capitalise on the BBC’s intentions to develop this strand
   of their service. The BBC has demonstrated a history of building of solutions for all
   current DTV platforms as well as those yet to fully develop.

4. In the medium to long term it is difficult to predict which platform will offer the best route
   to full interactivity, whilst attracting use from those most in need of public services. The
   market is developing rapidly and initiatives such as Internet TV have failed despite strong
   market predictions. The recommendation would be that the Executive should continue to
   develop their understanding of the DiTV sector further. Various conferences /forums are
   in operation that can assist. These include:

     •   The enhanced and mobile TV forum – London 27th-29th September 2005

     •   The Interactive TV Show – Europe being held in Rome 24th/25th October 2005

     Without offering industry substantial commercial business/scale for any new DiTV
     requirements, the Scottish Executive will need to apply existing or planned consumer
     based solutions. There are various industry bodies and groups that can advise further on
     relevant products and technology developments:

     •   The Digital TV Group - for more UK DTV standards guidance

     •   Intellect’s Consumer Electronics Division - for more manufacturer/product guidance

     •   Digital UK on – for information on Digital Switchover and related consumer

     •   Government DTV Switchover Group – led by the DTI. A forum for Central
         Government Departments and others with interests in DTV and associated
         Government policy.

14       Appendices

Appendix A:         Local authorities utilising ODPM starter kit

                                    Barnsley                                Manchester Fire Authority
 Kent:                              South Yorkshire Passenger               Oldham
 Ashford                            Transport Executive                     Preston
 Medway                                                                     Rochdale
 Dartford                           Merseyside:                             Salford
 Tunbridge Wells                    Knowsley                                Stockport
 Maidstone                          St Helens                               Trafford
 Tonbridge & Malling                Liverpool                               Wigan
 Swale                              Wirral
 Shepway                            Halton                                  Tyne and Wear
 Thanet                             Blackburn                               Newcastle
 Gravesham                          Burnley                                 Gateshead
 Kent Fire & Rescue Service         Hyndburn                                North Tyneside
 Kent County                        Ribble Valley                           South Tyneside
                                    Rossendale                              Sunderland
 West Yorkshire:                    Sefton                                  Nexus (Transport Executive)
 Leeds                              Pendle
 Wakefield                                                                  Suffolk
 Kirklees                           South West:                             Suffolk County with Ipswich &
 Calderdale                         Plymouth                                Babergh
 West Yorkshire Learning & Skills   London:                                 Somerset
 Council                            London Borough of Hillingdon            Somerset County with Mendip
 City of York                       (via Netgem)                            South Somerset
                                                                            Taunton Deane
                                    Greater Manchester:                     Sedgemoor
 South Yorkshire:                   Bolton                                  West Somerset & Somerset Fire
 South Yorkshire e@sy Connects      Buy                                     & Police
 Doncaster                          Cheshire
 Rotherham                          Manchester City

                                             156                ISBN 0 7559 1302 7 (web only publication)

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