The vision for a successfull digital TV-Internet-PC platform could be envisaged enabling viewers to gain access and integrating entertainment, information, products and services in many ways, creating a competitive advantage for broadcasters.
Such a vision has driven the idea behind S@Commerce to provide phased approach to broadcasters and viewers to the use of an integrated platform minimising the use of new technology.
S@Commerce srl intends to generate revenue streams from the intelligent use of existing digital satellite TV broadcasting channels to home viewers who are also PC home users.
According to the operative scenario the end customer receives the catalogue through the satellite TV channel on his PC via an 'off-line' connection. S@Commerce in fact delivers the catalog and its functionality in a local environment, allowing the customer to access the information any time.
As the available satellite capacity is large enough to transfer large amount of data, the Service Provider can offer innovative multimedia packages of e-advertising.
Digital products/goods can be directly delivered to the end customer's PC through the S@Commerce platform; the capacity will be also used to distribute the files with the appropriate selection keys which allow each user to store the desired information.
The opportunity for an integration of TV broadcasting into home PC to enance the utilization of e-commerce.
- S@Commerce provides to TV broadcasters an increase of offered services and consequent increase of revenues (even if 'maginal') through a limited investment
- S@Commerce provides e-commerce Providers a platform to increase their catalog distribution overcoming a specific transaction problem such as the credit card use on the Internet
S@Commerce enables the end customer e-commerce activity without the direct use on Internet of credit card. Moreover a large amount of data (e.g. multimedia catalogues) regularly updated will be quickly downloaded in the Set Top Box for local browsing.
The S@Commerce business solution is based on the exploitation of the existing standards, of the unused capacity of satellite transponders of broadcasting operators and of the existing commercial relations between home digital TV viewers and pay-TV operators.
The project plan foresses Technical and Commercial analysis according to the following breakdown and duration:
Service & System requirements (4 months)
Target System Architecture (3 months)
Application software development (4 months)
System Demonstrator D&D (4 months)
System Validation (2 months)
Assessment of broadcasters strategy (5 months)
Assessment of products/goods off (6months)
Assessment of consumer demand (6 months) Business Plan (3 months) The project started in September 2002 and will last approximatively 1 year.
System Demonstrator Design
The overall architecture of the demonstrator has been defined and functional requirements for the server side have been upgraded as well. The characteristics of the equipment available in ESA facility have been studied in order to to identify a possible configuration for the S@Commerce Broadcaster provider hos: the stream multiplexing and opportunistic data insertion options have been analysed, although there is no found a direct impact on demonstrator objectives.
The main functional blocks for the S@Commerce application software have been identified: the design and development phase is started for the User software (client) identifying the most suitable approach and protocol compatible with the target system configuration. An high level software architecture has been defined for both S@Commerce Broadcaster Server and S@Commerce E-commerce Server.
System Demonstrator Development
Following an extensive survey of HW and SW COTS, carried out to define the demonstrator configuration, the procurement and installation of the demonstrator equipment has been completed: a Ku-band antenna with pointing mechanism has been installed and tested in the SISMA laboratory where the full Client and the e-commerce server part has also been deployed and validated. The remaining part of the test bed has been installed in the ESRIN facilities including the SISMA developed S@Commerce Provider Server HW/SW equipment, integrated with the gateway, modulator and transmitting equipments provided by the ESRIN facilities. All the functional tests on the major test-bed elements have been successfully completed as well as the end to end link test. The full end to end S@Commerce validation test is in progress and will be completed shortly.
Assesments of products/goods offering, consumer demand/market share and broadcasting strategies
Available commercial collection of market studies and researches has been pursued. Data collection on products/good offering for new S@-Commerce Advanced Broadcasting Services Via Satellite services as well as supposed strategies for goods offering providers also have been pursued.Preliminary contacts should be established with a main products/good provider already present in the Italian (and European) TV market.
Two leading satellite TV operators have been contacted. RaiSat and Sky Italia have shown interest in testing the sat-commerce platform. Talks are in progress.
Two e-commerce operators, a leading e-commerce product distributor and a major catalogue distribution portal managed by a leading an Italian press publisher have been contacted and are operating with SISMA for service definition and testing.