I’m pleased to report that Ryersons 2012 Summer Experiential Learning Work Study Program has allowed us to obtain the services of Alireza Tahmasbi for much of the summer of 2012. Ali was the most senior of the students that applied for the single position awarded under the program and it was Ali who co-manned the openmobiledtv.org booth in the ATSC TechZone Pavilion at NAB 2012.
I’m traveling over the next week and a bit so I’m going to have Ali undertake a couple of cosmetic additions to the traffic app, try to figure our how different fonts can be applied to the traffic app using GPAC and to start playing with GPAC’s manual DIMS commands to see if we can develop a BASH script that allow us to control when the carousel is sent and when the updates are sent. The hope here is that we can eradicate the collisions between carousel sends and updates that we believe are at the heart of the Traffic App crashing. However it is not my personal intention to keep refining what we have accomplished to date, instead I’d like to be proactive in further developing what we learned and work cooperatively with others in the broadcast industry to develop apps for demonstration within their organizations and to the industry as a whole.
Phase Two Goals
With these undertakings I’m pleased to announce a Phase Two to openmobiledtv.org. Phase One was all about learning the basics around how Rich Media Apps were constructed in A/153 and openly share our code. Phase Two is about being proactive, to evangelize what we learned and work with organizational skunk-works teams to pass on the knowledge and start to build a developer community.
As such Phase Two needs to be built around the following parameters;
1. Evangelizing and prototyping Rich Media Apps.
- Nothing works better than showing and demonstrating actual prototype apps. Phase Two’s main goal is to experiment and develop prototypes.
2. Foster a rich range of ideas and prototypes.
- Look for and develop some content ideas that are simple but go beyond the obvious and build them into demonstrable prototypes.
3. Continue the Open Source/Open Information Approach.
- The open source software approach was well received.
- From a broadcasters perspective open source allows for low cost prototyping.
- Clearly identifying an open source authoring path allows the broadcast industry to reach deep into the current App Developer community for new content ideas and talent.
- As well the talent and labor noted above won’t necessarily be limited to specialists in the TV industry and can be drawn from the best of the web App Developer and the Web Development communities.
- Where specific IP is not an issue the publication of code examples from which others can learn and develop their own custom apps will transfer the evangelization beyond Ryerson and Open Mobile DTV into the Broadcast Community.
4. Industry Education.
- Obviously this is the key to understanding what is possible with this medium.
- Our website, papers and participation in conferences are an important dimension industry education in this arena.
What Is Needed?
In my opinion things holding us back here at Ryerson are the lack of an ATSC M/H mux and transmission system. While we have developed apps Rich Media Apps that we believe are to standard we need to field test them. Because we are using Ethernet to substitute for a transmission environment we have no understanding at this point when we overload a typical ATSC M/H transport. We also have no idea what exactly is involved when these apps are actually transmitted.
Also the lack of transmitter and its backend environment we’ve yet to learn much about signaling and test work with A/153 Part 4 (OMA BCST). From what I could learn at NAB some of the PBS Emergency Alert System was built in part employing Part 4.
What’s In the Immediate Future to Support Phase 2?
As I indicated the lab has secured a software engineer for the summer. The lab has had several offers post NAB for technological and content development support that I believe people want to move on. With these offers we may be able to close many of the technological shortfalls to both develop prototypes and test them in an M/H transport environment. I’m very confident at this point that a lot can be accomplished in the area of Prototypes if these resources could be pulled together and focused.
I’ll keep posting information to this blog as I can, in the meantime I’m searching for broadcast organizations with some internal resources to see if there is interest in developing or building upon the whats been done by openmobiledtv.org to date.