Presentation of MediaScape Hybrid Radio Scenario at IFA 2015

Caroline Brindle,

IFA 2015 in Berlin is the global trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances. IFA 2014 attracted more than 240,000 visitors, and over a period of six days generated orders totalling 4.25 billion euros.

RadioDNS Hybrid Radio will be demonstrated this year at IFA by IRT, the primary research institute for public-broadcasting organisations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and a member of RadioDNS.

IRT will be presenting hybrid radio scenarios from the European funded project MediaScape. Alex Erk from Institut für Rundfunktechnik (IRT) explains more in his guest blog below.

For more information, please contact the Project Office.

The vision of MediaScape is to demonstrate how HTML5 can become the technology for both pure IP and hybrid scenarios. Besides IRT the project partners in MediaScape are Bayerischer Rundfunk, the BBC, W3C, NORUT, VICOMTECH and NEC.

At the booth from ARD Digital in Hall 2.2, IRT demonstrates its hybrid radio prototype DABerry and shows a MediaScape developed hybrid radio scenario, where the linear radio program is enhanced with visual and interactive components, leading to a comprehensive audio visual experience for the radio listener.

One unique element of the demonstration is the automatic cross platform discovery of devices and applications. While surfing on the web, the radio listener might become interested in a broadcaster’s webpage and decide to listen to the current program. Pressing the “listen live” button on the WEB-page offers the listener the choice either to listen on the current device using the Internet-delivered audio stream, or to advise a DABerry radio available in the local network to switch via the DAB tuner to the preferred channel. The device discovery is performed by using technologies such as DIAL and SSDP and works completely automatically from the user’s point of view.

Standard PULS Webpage

If a local device is available, the listener has the choice where to start the radio program.

Once the DABerry radio device is discovered it exposes its user interface as an HTML5 page and provides the listener with a sophisticated UI for consuming radio services. Audio, slideshow, text messages and EPG (Electronic Program Guide) are presented. The software ensures that the listener does not have to cope with technical decisions as to whether the radio should receive the service via DAB or IP. All the service metadata and EPG information and visuals are received either via DAB (if available in the multiplex) or via the RadioDNS/VIS/EPG specifications (if provided for that service).

Another key element of the IFA demonstrator showcases how visual and interactive HTML5 applications can complement radio programs, which are embedded seamlessly into the Radios UI. The showcase makes use of the early drafts of the RadioWEB technology, currently under development in the RadioDNS group. RadioWEB enables the broadcaster to enhance the radio services with programme related HTML5 pages, very much in the same way as HbbTV on television devices.

The radio performs the usual RadioDNS FQDN lookup. In the RadioWEB specification a new service record query is defined which guides the device to an XML structure, where the broadcaster provides the URL for the HTML5 page to load and additional metadata about the application such as name, description, logos and life-cycle information.

DABerry GUI with visuals, text message and EPG information, and additionally a RadioWEB button.

After the RadioWEB application has been discovered, the DABerry indicates the availability of that application to the listener via a red button labelled as “RadioWEB” The listener now has the choice to start the RadioWEB application via pressing this button in the DABerry GUI.

RadioWEB application.

Once the RadioWEB application is started on the DABerry UI, the presentation is running beside the linear radio program. Possible applications of RadioWEB applications include general images, videos and text information, which could be presented synchronously to the ongoing audio. Due to the fact that it’s standard HTML, any kind of interactivity such as voting, quiz games or integration of social media (Twitter, Google+, Facebook) can also be realized.

For further information see: http://mediascapeproject.eu

We’ll have another guest blog from Alex soon about IRT at IBC.