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941 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 248268 18-Aug-2009 17:40 Send private message

sbiddle: Any idea if they're planning on extracting the EPG data for an 8 day EPG?


With a planned solution this year, and the fact they are done visually (based on the picture) would be crazy to think they wont have EPG support




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  Reply # 250868 26-Aug-2009 23:11 Send private message

it would seem not:

"No, mheg5 will be displayed inside the osd."

Seems bizarre to me, asked why that was the case, will await a reply from Christian.

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  Reply # 252481 2-Sep-2009 10:33 Send private message

and the response is

Because there is already a fully working way to do it: Transmit the EPG in the EIT like everybody else does it. Every DVB receiver can work with it out of the box. There is simply no sane reason to make a MHEG EPG. And there is no reason to write a complicated conversion just to undo (and support) the stupidity of some broadcasters in one country.


what a total waste of time this will be then, MHEG5 is of no use to us, other than the EPG info.

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  Reply # 252496 2-Sep-2009 11:01 Send private message

allstarnz: and the response is

Because there is already a fully working way to do it: Transmit the EPG in the EIT like everybody else does it. Every DVB receiver can work with it out of the box. There is simply no sane reason to make a MHEG EPG. And there is no reason to write a complicated conversion just to undo (and support) the stupidity of some broadcasters in one country.


what a total waste of time this will be then, MHEG5 is of no use to us, other than the EPG info.


What a crack up - "the stupidity of some broadcasters in one country"...

Pretty much sums up the Freeview use of MHEG - from a worldwide perspective its nothing, non existent, zip, nada...

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  Reply # 252501 2-Sep-2009 11:09 Send private message

RustyGonad:
allstarnz: and the response is

Because there is already a fully working way to do it: Transmit the EPG in the EIT like everybody else does it. Every DVB receiver can work with it out of the box. There is simply no sane reason to make a MHEG EPG. And there is no reason to write a complicated conversion just to undo (and support) the stupidity of some broadcasters in one country.


what a total waste of time this will be then, MHEG5 is of no use to us, other than the EPG info.


What a crack up - "the stupidity of some broadcasters in one country"...

Pretty much sums up the Freeview use of MHEG - from a worldwide perspective its nothing, non existent, zip, nada...


That might be fine if we were the only country doing this but we're not.

The reasons for establishing MHEG5 support as minimum base level for Freeview certification are well known.

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Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 252518 2-Sep-2009 11:49 Send private message

MHEG has a relatively low worldwide adoption (UK,Ireland, NZ, Hong Kong, and maybe a couple of others), not exacltly high adoption rates by anyones standards. I'd go as far as to say its tiny.

From a technical point of view, its just a display rendering engine - many would argue that its not a very good one. It might look good vs teletext, but does it really have a place in the future direction of interactive television - I think not...

So MHEG gives a standard interface to a consumer using TV. So what?

Some say it gives red button - but red button type services are provided around the world without using MHEG, so nothing unique there.

I've heard all the crap about EIT being obselete, but my Media Center copes very well using data transmitted over EIT, its light years ahead of anything I've seen from Freeview using MHEG.

BTW - New Zealand's largest selling PVR (MkySky) copes very well using EIT as well...

Does it add anything to Hulu or Netflix type services ie where the future of interactive television is being driven?

What else does it provide at a consumer level?

on the downside:

It has increased the price of equipment, due the the need for manufacturers to implemnt NZ specific MHEG support for a relatively tiny return (in worldwide terms).

It has limited the consumers ability to utilise "internationally accepted EIT based" low cost equipment and software

It has limited the functionality of many leading edge consumer devices, such as Windows Media Center, Sony PlayTV, many consumer level Hard Disk based recorders.

Despite what some may say - this adds a true and real cost to manufacturers, in software development, manufacturing costs, and ongoing consumer support services. For a market NZ size this severely limits economic return - end result is that it just doesn't happen - ie Microsoft, Panasonic, Sony PlayTV - but really if you do the math can you blame them?

If it was a purely consumer driven decision, EIT would be transmitted alongside MHEG. This would allow the consumer choice, which at the moment we don't have.

If it was purely technical, then why isn't MHEG used on DVB-S? Why have separate standards?

What it does do, from a economic and political point of view is tie the Freeview brand into the licensing of equipment. Is this the real reason EIT is not transmitted as well?

I think everyone give the big companies stick for not supporting MHEG, but why should they.

How about laying some smack down on Freeview for not transmitting EIT. What it really cost Kordia to add the EIT stream to the transmission, they already transmit the time and a bunch dots.

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  Reply # 252519 2-Sep-2009 11:51 Send private message

I get that MHEG5 support will allow for future interactive services if they are ever rolled out in NZ. What I don't get is why this is being adopted for the EPG when it's slow as s%!?! It's quite simply painful trying to cycle through the channels or to the next day etc and there doesn't seem to be support in any official box I've used for buffering of the info like is frequently done with EIT based EPGs.

I keep coming back to why don't they just broadcast a bit more data given the EIT system IS in use on the DVB-T platform, but only partially populated. Wouldn't the likes of Windows media centre work with a DVB-T EIT EPG? Not to mention the like of PlayTV if it ever gets released here or that new expensive Panasonic Bluray HDD recorder. Freeview have never really given a solid reason why they taken this stance.

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  Reply # 252520 2-Sep-2009 11:58 Send private message

RustyGonad: MHEG has a relatively low worldwide adoption (UK,Ireland, NZ, Hong Kong, and maybe a couple of others), not exacltly high adoption rates by anyones standards. I'd go as far as to say its tiny.


I wouldn't exactly call the UK a small market. 61 million consumers is nothing to be sniffed at.

Plus in the UK MHEG-5 is used for both FreeView and Freesat.


From a technical point of view, its just a display rendering engine - many would argue that its not a very good one. It might look good vs teletext, but does it really have a place in the future direction of interactive television - I think not...

So MHEG gives a standard interface to a consumer using TV. So what?

Some say it gives red button - but red button type services are provided around the world without using MHEG, so nothing unique there.

I've heard all the crap about EIT being obselete, but my Media Center copes very well using data transmitted over EIT, its light years ahead of anything I've seen from Freeview using MHEG.

BTW - New Zealand's largest selling PVR (MkySky) copes very well using EIT as well...

Sky's MySky and MySkyHDi used additional proprietary data sources in addition to EIT. If you do a scan of their DVB streams you would notice entries tagged "IEPG Data Service"


Does it add anything to Hulu or Netflix type services ie where the future of interactive television is being driven?

What else does it provide at a consumer level?

on the downside:

It has increased the price of equipment, due the the need for manufacturers to implemnt NZ specific MHEG support for a relatively tiny return (in worldwide terms).

It has limited the consumers ability to utilise "internationally accepted EIT based" low cost equipment and software

It has limited the functionality of many leading edge consumer devices, such as Windows Media Center, Sony PlayTV, many consumer level Hard Disk based recorders.

Despite what some may say - this adds a true and real cost to manufacturers, in software development, manufacturing costs, and ongoing consumer support services. For a market NZ size this severely limits economic return - end result is that it just doesn't happen - ie Microsoft, Panasonic, Sony PlayTV - but really if you do the math can you blame them?

If it was a purely consumer driven decision, EIT would be transmitted alongside MHEG. This would allow the consumer choice, which at the moment we don't have.

If it was purely technical, then why isn't MHEG used on DVB-S? Why have separate standards?


MHEG is used on freeview's DVB-S service. The only reason they continued to provide EIT was due to the large number of existing EIT only STBs when they launched.


What it does do, from a economic and political point of view is tie the Freeview brand into the licensing of equipment. Is this the real reason EIT is not transmitted as well?

I think everyone give the big companies stick for not supporting MHEG, but why should they.

How about laying some smack down on Freeview for not transmitting EIT. What it really cost Kordia to add the EIT stream to the transmission, they already transmit the time and a bunch dots.


Personally I think they should dual feed EIT and MHEG-5 on DTT as the bandwidth requirements are relatively low. From Freeview's perspective if would take the same bandwidth as 2-3 radio channels so they would prefer not to do it.




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat New Zealand as a Solution Architect for all things Linux, Virtual and of course Cloud. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.

483 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 252580 2-Sep-2009 14:34 Send private message

Steve - not disputing the fact the UK is a significant market. However whats the economic benefit to NZ for following their standards. This isn't 1950 anymore.

Where are the products for the UK market manufactured? Is there a economic benefit to NZ consumers from this given that our TV's are manufactured on the other side of the world. Should we bear the costs of shipping around the world to just follow their standards?

My point about Sky was that EIT is just a transmission method for a bunch of data. I realise they transmit some other stream ie the HD channels are only now/next which is annoying...

My Media Center eats MySky for breakfast, and all its got to work with is EIT. I can do series record, search based recording bla bla bla. Not saying there not something better, but MHEG isn't it.

Nothing I have seen with MHEG impresses me at all. It looks like a product for the 90's.

Absolutely agree about dual transmission of EIT. It would save alot of headaches for a lot of people.

The reality is I already pick up what I need from the Sky EIT streams - so I really don't care about MHEG other than winding everyone up about it :) Take it with a grain of salt...

We could go on about MHEG forever - I don't believe its a very good standard and I never will.

I think interactive TV's moving too fast for Freeview/Kordia to even see whats coming...




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 253463 5-Sep-2009 22:44 Send private message

RustyGonad: Steve - not disputing the fact the UK is a significant market. However whats the economic benefit to NZ for following their standards. This isn't 1950 anymore.

Where are the products for the UK market manufactured? Is there a economic benefit to NZ consumers from this given that our TV's are manufactured on the other side of the world. Should we bear the costs of shipping around the world to just follow their standards?

My point about Sky was that EIT is just a transmission method for a bunch of data. I realise they transmit some other stream ie the HD channels are only now/next which is annoying...

My Media Center eats MySky for breakfast, and all its got to work with is EIT. I can do series record, search based recording bla bla bla. Not saying there not something better, but MHEG isn't it.

Nothing I have seen with MHEG impresses me at all. It looks like a product for the 90's.

Absolutely agree about dual transmission of EIT. It would save alot of headaches for a lot of people.

The reality is I already pick up what I need from the Sky EIT streams - so I really don't care about MHEG other than winding everyone up about it :) Take it with a grain of salt...

We could go on about MHEG forever - I don't believe its a very good standard and I never will.

I think interactive TV's moving too fast for Freeview/Kordia to even see whats coming...



I don't think you can call MHEG a UK standard. It is after all standardised by the ISO. I think the fact that most people developing DTV systems now appear to be choosing MHEG-5 is telling.

Also I don't think you quite appreciate how the modern world works. We don't get our products from the UK. Not surprising given that the UK doesn't get their products from the UK. They're nearly all made in China. Supporting MHEG-5 is just a matter of software, and it doesn't matter where you make the product really. Most of the development doesn't occur in the UK either. Not that it matters...

I also think you're missing the point about Media Centre. It's great that you like Media Centre (I personally believe it's a POS, Media Portal is much better and even that ain't great but to each their own). But that's a PVR solution. PVR solutions may eventually take over. Or they may not. It does make sense however to have something for the ordinary digital TVs. Personally it doesn't interest me but I think it's clear it is important to quite a number of people. And MHEG-5 is clearly a lot better then EIT there.

Oh and the red button thing is an interesting one. Yes it can be done in other ways. But can it be done with EIT alone? Well no... In other words you need something else. What something else? AFAIK, none of these are international standards which raises the point, is it better for us to use some random (probably proprietry) standard made by some random group and hope people support it, or perhaps better for us to use an international standard? Fact is the world is moving away from random proprietary standards, and I think for good reason.

There is MHP but although an open standard, I don't believe it's an ISO standard only an ETSI one. (And intrinsicly, it seems better for us to follow an international standard then a European one, if there's no substanial advantage to either). And it's hardly doing better then MHEG-5 besides.

As for dual transmission, I personally don't think wasting bandwidth given it clearly remains limited benefits consumers in the long term. That's why I personally would have preferred if they'd thrown AC3 to the curb and just used AAC even for multichannel audio. But they didn't and I can understand why. Nevertheless, we did at least choose AAC for the main audio rather then MPEG1/4 layer 2 and h264 which are good things. And given that we were going to have MHEG-5 not wasting more bandwidth on EIT is a good thing in my book, despite the short term cost for consumers.

What it comes down to I guess is this? Is MHEG-5 a good standard? Maybe maybe not. It's IMHO clearly better then EIT. Indeed in your latest post, despite your claims that EIT isn't outdated, you conceded that Sky too are now abandoning EIT. And so given the 3 choices we have here, EIT, EIT+MHEG-5 (wasted bandwidth) or MHEG-5, it seems to me they made the right choice for the long term.

P.S. You are aware the CI-Plus requires MHEG-5 too right? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CI%2B http://www.ci-plus.com/data/ci_plus_specification_v1.2.pdf

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Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 253497 6-Sep-2009 09:54 Send private message

Nil Einne:

Gobble Gobble Gobble



Very few facts and alot of opinion...

MHEG is a UK standard.  It was developed there in the mid 90's.  You can ISO anything if you want to waste the money.  Please present some facts that detail where most DTV rollouts are using MHEG-5, I'd love to see them.

I appreciate how the world works.  Have a think about how manufacturers view products, where even thing such as a power cable can cause production grief.  Have a think about regional product distribution, and manufacturer support channels.  You will soon understand that we are part of the Asia Pacific region.  Implementing MHEG-5 maybe a software function, support and distribution is not, especially when NZ customise the profile to make it NZ specific.

I don't think you understand the difference between EIT and MHEG... Love to hear your knowledge lession on how MHEG benefits a HTPC user... But your comment on Media Center sums it all up I guess... Gobble Gobble...

Lets get something straight.  EIT is simply a distribution method for guide data.  It contains no post processing or display information.  That is left up to the box.  Yes its been around for a while.  But it does what it does.

MHEG-5 is a post processing display language with the ability to carry data, and interactive services.  It was developed in the UK in 1995.   This makes it old.  It has lots of shortfalls, including things like HD, return path for interactive services and others. 

You can't compare the two as they do different things. 

EIT may have some technical deficiencies - but really who cares.  Fact is that it is supported by everyone, on everything.  That includes every piece of DVB software on the PC.  How many MHEG-5 applications are there currently???  It is also supported by every low cost dog of a setup box out there.  This alone gives consumers choice.

Interactivity doesn't need open standards - it needs content.  Nothing Apple, Microsoft, Sony or the Murdoch group contains anything "open" in the way they deliver their interactivity.  And yet, these are some of the companies that will drive our interactive futures.  MHEG-5 wont be in there.  Fact is the world isn't moving away from closed standards.  It is infact being driven by them.  Another example is Freeview - they have an open standard, which they closed (NZ Profile), but they don't have any interactive content. 

I believe in consumer choice.  I don't believe that having to pay an extra $500 on top of the price of a TV to support MHEG-5 is good for consumer choice.  I believe that if a punter wants to use a $60 box instead of a $200 one they should be allowed to.  By delivering both streams everyone gets a choice.  Simple as that.

Your views on multichannel AAC are profound.  Why not implement a standard that would make every Home Theatre reciever in the country obselete.  Makes excellent sense - if your smoking crack!  AC3 is the default standard for multichannel broadcast audio.  Your a fool if you think otherwise.

Finally - if you are going to quote me please get your facts straight.  I did not concede that Sky were abandoning EIT, nothing of the sort.  Don't know what you were drinking/smoking when you came up with that one.  Sky still use EIT.  I am sure they would love to use something "closed" or encrypted, but as of yet they haven't.  Go have a look at their transponders, and use some of the HD content.  You might get a better/some idea of how they do things.






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  Reply # 256776 18-Sep-2009 10:45 Send private message

Just to throw this in the mix, I notice TIVO does not support MHEG5 epg even though it is a UHF/HD freeview box.  It obtains it's info via a broadband connection which allows TIVO to utilise it's superior EPG.  I personally just do not get the importance of a standardised EPG interface when it limits superior products from being available to the consumer.

Taken from http://www.mytivo.co.nz/faq/

Do I have to have to have an internet connection?
Yes. The TiVo media device receives the on-screen TV guide data and software updates from the internet. This does not consume more than 25-30MB of data a month for people who are not with Telecom. If you are with Telecom this will not count towards your download quota. Without an internet connection the TiVo cannot function properly - we do not advise you purchase a TiVo without a broadband internet connection.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 256832 18-Sep-2009 13:10 Send private message


Do I have to have to have an internet connection?
Yes. The TiVo media device receives the on-screen TV guide data and software updates from the internet. This does not consume more than 25-30MB of data a month for people who are not with Telecom. If you are with Telecom this will not count towards your download quota. Without an internet connection the TiVo cannot function properly - we do not advise you purchase a TiVo without a broadband internet connection.



This could be interesting depending how they feed it to box and what authentication needs to be performed. Wonder if their feed could be used for HTPC or Windows 7 Media Centre?




CPU: Intel 3770k| RAM: F3-2400C10D-16GTX G.Skill Trident X |MB:  Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H-WB | GFX: GV-N660OC-2GD gv-n660oc-2gd GeForce GTX 660 | Monitor: Qnix 27" 2560x1440

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  Reply # 256842 18-Sep-2009 13:35 Send private message

mentalinc:

Do I have to have to have an internet connection?
Yes. The TiVo media device receives the on-screen TV guide data and software updates from the internet. This does not consume more than 25-30MB of data a month for people who are not with Telecom. If you are with Telecom this will not count towards your download quota. Without an internet connection the TiVo cannot function properly - we do not advise you purchase a TiVo without a broadband internet connection.



This could be interesting depending how they feed it to box and what authentication needs to be performed. Wonder if their feed could be used for HTPC or Windows 7 Media Centre?


It also presumes that they have done deals with all the networks to use their schedule data, ( which they tend to get picky about others using commercially)

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  Reply # 256847 18-Sep-2009 13:55 Send private message

I know I'm saying what's already been said, but if freeview just broadcast the full EIT data then users would be free to populate whatever form of EPG they wanted.  I think with it's inclusion in Windows Media Centre etc, EIT data does still have a place, even if it is 'old fashioned'.  Namely it would make my PlayTV EPG actually work here, including the extended features of it like a) it's fast!, and b) you can search for words to find shows in the coming weeks etc.

By the way, if you have your internet with anyone other than Telecom Xtra, then you're also stuck.  You need broadband of some sort to just get the EPG, but you need specifically Telecom to get the download services, otherwise it's just a PVR.


What if I am not a Telecom customer? What do I get?

A non-Telecom broadband customer can buy a TiVo media device and they can enjoy all features of the TiVo except the broadband content and services.

This basic service includes the 14-day on-screen TV guide (Electronic Programme Guide), the ability to view the Freeview|HD® channels and core DVR features of the TiVo media device.

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