European Space Agency



EDIBS® is a DVB-compliant technology of embedded content transmission, partly based on MHP. It works with most MHP-compliant set-top boxes equipped with a hard disk without any hard- or software adaptations. The project focuses on performing a public pilot test.


The key issue was to create a public showcase for embedded TV content transmission and to proof practicability for broadcasters and recipients. The ECS, an multi functional playout server solution to manage and embed incentive data into any digital broadcast stream had to be improved to meet the needs of a commercial product. Several soft- and hardware interfaces have to be implemented to ensure connectivity to various broadcast play-out devices (like encoder, multiplexer, television automatic sequence control > TASCON, etc.) The playout framework, soft- & hardware as well as the client application has been developed by F5, while the interface to the multiplex, the private data inserter has been implemented by gcs . The PDI (private data inserter), is based on an enhanced version of the gcs flex:converger MPEG-2 sub-system, as one of the ECS system's components. It has been integrated within the play-out chain and has been responsible for constantly analysing the input multiplex, for dynamically adapting its operational parameters to the characteristics of the transport stream, and for injecting the 2EDIBS data stream without impairing other services. A play-out validation sub-system ensures the completeness and integrity of the embedded 2EDIBS content.

The public pilot test targeted on three major results:

  • To act as a showcase for Broadcasters and TV stations,

  • To certify the overall practicability of the 2EDIBS solution,

  • Proof reliability (to broadcasters),

  • Feedback concerning usability, attractiveness of services, amount of usage, effectiveness of customer relationship enlargement.
In order to proof the readiness for marketing this new technology, 2 services were provided to test households that had been equipped with MHP DVB set top boxes. The test was conducted in cooperation with TW1, a innovative special interest channel focussing on weather and tourism, owned by the ORF - the Austrian public broa


The analyses of the per household questionnaires and usage-log files showed an encouraging growth in contacts and reception time for the pilot TV station. The increase of TV reception time within the test panel was just partly caused by a raised curiosity on the pilot and its services but mostly by the very positive acceptance, frequently stated by the pilot test users.

These results will influence the future marketing of the 2EDIBS services, because it can be expected that in regular operations 2EDIBS services will increase the a TV stations actual reception time per user by an average of at least 3 to 5 minutes.

Overall the results can be judged as an excellent effect for every TV station utilising 2EDIBS.


The combination of ECS (embedded content server) and PDS (Private Data Server) enables broadcasters to embed additional video clips of an unlimited size and in broadcast quality into their TV programme without requiring additional transmission bandwidth. Once additional content is transmitted, it is received and managed by the MHP-compliant EDIBS client application. The broadcaster defines the criteria for viewers to be able to make use of this additional content.


The ECS, EDIBS® embedded content server was implemented within the ORF?s digital playout centre while the PDS was implemented at TW1 (a special interest TV channel owned by the ORF). The unencrypted programme of the TW1, which is broadcast over Astra 1H transponder 117 on 12.69225 GHz / horiz. was enriched with embedded content, in close relation to the broadcast programme - weather forecasts and music clips.

The 10 test households that joined this pilot in Austria were equipped with appropriate STBs and tested reception, practical utilisation as well as desirability of the presented services. The evaluation results of this pilot test directly showed possible improvements of the system.

2EDIBS Set-Top-Box

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Current status

The project has been concluded successfully. Market roll out with a slightly downgraded version has started already.

Status date

Friday, June 20, 2008 - 12:06