H2B2VS (HEVC Hybrid Broadcast Broadband Video Services) – building innovative solutions over hybrid networks
Broadcast and broadband networks continue to be separate worlds in the video consumption business. Some initiatives such as HbbTV have built a bridge between both worlds, but its application is almost limited to providing links over the broadcast channel to content providers’ applications such as Catch-up TV services. When it comes to reality, the user is using either one network or the other. H2B2VS is a Celtic-Plus project aiming at exploiting the potential of real hybrid networks by implementing efficient synchronization mechanisms and using new video coding standard such as High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC). The goal is to develop successful hybrid network solutions that enable value added services with an optimum bandwidth usage in each network and with clear commercial applications. An example of the potential of this approach is the transmission of Ultra-HD TV by sending the main content over the broadcast channel and the required complementary information over the broadband network. This technology can also be used to improve the life of handicapped persons: Deaf people receive through the broadband network a sign language translation of a programme sent over the broadcast channel; the TV set then displays this translation in an inset window. One of the most important contributions of the project is developing and testing synchronization methods between two different networks that offer unequal qualities of service with significant differences in delay and jitter. In this paper, the main technological project contributions are described, including SHVC, the scalable extension of HEVC and a special focus on the synchronization solution adopted by MPEG and DVB. The paper also presents some of the implemented practical use cases, such as the sign language translation described above, and their performance results so as to evaluate the commercial application of this type of solution.