The Essential Guide to Digital Set-Top Boxes and Interactive TV / Edition 1

The Essential Guide to Digital Set-Top Boxes and Interactive TV / Edition 1

by Gerard O'Driscoll, Gerrard O'Driscoll
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Prentice Hall

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The Essential Guide to Digital Set-Top Boxes and Interactive TV / Edition 1


Everything you need to know about the coming digital interactive TV revolution!

There's a revolution coming to your TV: a digital, interactive, Internet-enabled revolution that will make possible services you've never imagined! The next TV revolution comes with new technologies, new standards, new architectures, and new business paradigms. Finally, there's a single source for up-to-the-minute insight into every aspect of next-generation digital TV: The Essential Guide to Digital Set-Top Boxes and Interactive TV!

From MPEG-4 to middleware, webcasting to Java OS, Gerard O'Driscoll covers the state-of-the-art, comparing the strategies and technologies-and cutting through the hype. Coverage includes all this, and more:

  • Digital TV building blocks: compression, encoding, modulation, conditional access, transmission, and management
  • Advanced digital set-tops: features, components, installation, and troubleshooting
  • Set-top operating systems: JavaOS, Windows CE, David OS-9, PowerTV, VxWorks, pSOS+, Linux, and more
  • Internet-based TV: set-top Web browsing, webcasting, email, online chat, broadband applications, video on demand, parental controls, and more
  • Electronic program guides (EPGs): 21st century TV portals
  • Development, server architecture, middleware, network management, smartcards, MPEG-4, and much more

Whether you're an investor, manager, marketing or PR professional, software developer, or consumer, you need to know where TV is headed, and only one book can show you: The Essential Guide to Digital Set-Top Boxes and Interactive TV!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780130173607
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Publication date: 11/30/1999
Series: Essential Guide Series
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

1. Overview of Digital TV.

Terminology. What is Digital Television? International Standard Bodies and Agreements. European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB). Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC). Digital Audio Visual Council (DAVIC). European Cable Communications Association (ECCA). CableLabs. W3 Consortium (W3C). Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Building blocks of a Digital TV system. Compression and Encoding. Modulation. Conditional Access System. Network Transmission Technologies. Network Management. Summary.

2. Set-top Hardware Architecture.

Evolution of Advanced Digital Set-tops. Set-top Box Computing Paradigm. Basic Concepts. How a set-top Works. Under the Hood. System Board. Tuner(s). Modulator and Demodulator. Demultiplexer and Decryptor. Decoders. Graphics Processor. Central Processing Unit. Memory Configuration. Storage Devices. Physical Interfaces. Installing a digital set-top. Troubleshooting an installation. Summary.

3. Set-top Real-time Operating Systems.

Architecture of a Set-top OS. Choice of Set-top OSs. PowerTV OS. VxWorks. pSOSystem. Microware's DAVID OS-9. Microsoft's Windows CE. Java OS for Consumers. Linux. Summary.

4. Set-top Middleware and APIs.

Middleware concepts. Virtual machines. HTML Virtual Machine. JavaScript Virtual Machine. Personal Java Virtual Machine. MHEG-5. Middleware Standards. Multimedia Home Platform (MHP). DTV Application Software Environment (DASE). Advanced Television Enhancement Forum (ATVEF). Set-top Middleware Choices. OpenTV. PowerTV. WebTV for Microsoft's TVPAK Platform. MediaHighway. Liberate eNavigator. PlanetWeb. Summary.

5. Set-top Specifications and Platforms.

Categories of digital set-tops. Eurobox. OpenCable. Sky Series 2200. CT5000+. Nokia MediaMaster T. Motorola Streamaster. The Explorer Set-top Family from Scientific-Atlanta. Implementations. Summary.

6. Set-top Application Development.

Developing for a set-top environment versus a PC environment. Set-top Application Development Cycle. Application Development Environments. OpenTV Application Development. Windows CE Application Development. Personal Java Application Development. Developing DVB Java Applications. Developing MediaHighway applications. Developing PowerTV applications. Developing MHEG-5 applications. Developing Liberate applications. Summary.

7. Set-top Internet Applications.

About the Internet. Understanding TCP/IP. About Internet Addresses. Subnetting an IP Broadband Network. Future of IP Addressing. Domain Name System. Assigning IP Addresses to Set-tops. Security policies and Firewalls. Introduction to Web browsing. Set-top Browsers. Functional Overview. Set-top Web Browser Application. Web Server. Set-top Proxy Server Software. High-speed Internet connection. How Set-top Web Browsing Works. Choosing a Set-top Browser Platform. Introduction to Set-top E-mail. How Set-top E-mail Works. Set-top E-mail Clients. Set-top E-mail Security. The Set-top E-mail Marketplace. Online Chat. Webcasting. How Webcasting Works? Summary.

8. Set-top Intranet Applications.

About Intranets. Choice of broadband Intranet applications. Client/Server Computing. Set-top Home Banking. Set-top E-commerce. Set-top Education. Set-top Gaming. Set-top Weather. TV Broadcast Services. Electronic Program Guides. Interactive Channel Browser. Pay Per View (PPV). Video on Demand. Near Video on Demand. Teletext. Parental Control. Summary.

9. Electronic Program Guides.

Basic EPGs. Advanced EPGs. Why EPGs look the way they do. Future EPG Developments. The Mediators (1997). TV-internet EPG Project. Case Study. Summary.

10. Set-top Server Architecture.

Overview of server architecture. Application Server(s). Database Server(s). Web Server(s). Transaction Server(s). Commerce Server(s). Personalization and Membership Servers. Broadcast Server. OpenTV. Application Streamer. Broadcast Streamer. Microsoft TV Server. Windows 2000 Server Family. Site Server (Commerce Edition). SQL Server 7.0. TVPAK Server. Microsoft Commercial Internet Server. MSN Portal Services. Network Management. Summary.

11. Set-top Smart Card Technologies.

Architecture of set-top Smart Cards. CPU. RAM. ROM. EEPROM. I/O Serial Interface. Smart card Security. Smart card Software. Java Card from Sun Microsystems. MultOS from MasterCard. Microsoft's Smart Card for Windows. Visa Open Platform. Summary.

12. Set-top Enhanced TV.

Fundamentals. Benefits of enhanced TV. General Principles of Designing for a TV environment. Screen Resolution. Navigation. Font Dimensions, Colors, and Lines. Computer and Multimedia Standards. Audiences. Download Times. Content Standardization for Set-tops. Authoring Enhanced TV Content for ATVEF-compliant Set-tops. Authoring Enhanced TV Content for DASE-compliant Set-tops. Authoring Enhanced TV Content for MHP-compliant Set-tops. Delivering Enhanced TV Content. Levels of Interactivity. Basic Interactivity. Advanced Interactivity. Summary.

13. Advanced Set-top Features.

MPEG-4 Support. Home Networks. Wireline Home Networks. Wireless Home Networks. Set-top Home Networking Middleware. Voice Recognition. Personalization Technologies. Summary. For Further Information. Further Reading.


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The Essential Guide to Digital Set-Top Boxes and Interactive TV 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Lawrence-Harte More than 1 year ago
This is very good unbiased technical book that covers most technologies and options available for television set top boxes - STBs. The book starts by explaining the key components and operation of TV broadcast systems. This can be helpful to software developers who are new to TV systems (a bit basic for experienced TV professionals). It does a great job of explaining STB operating systems, applications, and application program interfaces - APIs. The book provides a good description of the key steps in developing STB applications. Most diagrams (and there are many) are good (identify key components and relationships). It identifies and analyzes the key suppliers and their systems which is kind of a mini-directory of key STB manufacturers, middleware developers, and component providers (it can be hard to find and identify these companies). I might have only given this book a 4 star review if there were other available books because it is a bit old and has some choppy presentation (it is still an essential book today). If you are developing TV applications, this is a great book to round out your understanding of TV systems and STB operation.