IMPALA welcomes Freesat launch of MHEG-IC

MHEG promotional alliance IMPALA has welcomed the beta release by UK free-to-air digital satellite platform Freesat of the first hybrid broadcast broadband MHEG Interaction Channel (MHEG-IC).

Freesat is using MHEG-IC to deliver the BBC’s iPlayer online catch-up service to Freesat TVs via the internet. The MHEG-IC uses a “hybrid file system” that enables broadcasters to create common applications that can work on both IP-connected and unconnected receivers. The MHEG-IC allows the application to determine whether or not an IP connection is possible via a particular receiver and whether or not the device is actually connected.

Freesat’s move comes as the EBU’s General Assembly has approved the Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HBBtv) technology being developed primarily by French and German broadcasters to enable the delivery of on-demand content and other applications to connected TVs.