European Space Agency

TV Snapshot


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An increasing number of people are watching TV on their PCs via a satellite feed. Because of the fact that the TV viewer runs on a PC, it is possible to add 'Interactive TV' features to TV programs by adding data to the TV stream and interpreting this data on the viewer's PC. The TV Snapshot project aims to develop an end-user application enabling the user to save descriptive data about his/her favourite TV content on a hard-drive, and later act on this data (e.g. purchase content online).


The key issues to date have been the choice of the client-side programming platform and the identification of the project's TV broadcaster/content provider partner. The key issue in front of us is the exact specification and integration of the data transmission mechanism in collaboration with the TV broadcaster.


TV Snapshot allows broadcasters to promote and sell products through a virtual shopping channel, leverage existing content and enhance their competitive advantage. Satellite ISPs are provided with an enhanced service that promotes customer loyalty, at no cost to the ISP. Device Manufacturers can offer PC users an additional service that translates into greater demand for DVB receiver devices and satellite operators can suggest a vehicle for their customers to achieve more efficient use of their bandwidth.


TV Snapshot will use the MS DirectShow architecture. The data will be retrieved from the DVB receiver device by inserting a new Filter in the Filter Graph. Classical UI techniques will allow the user to intervene on the data.


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On the client side, the data retrieval functionality and the user interface will be implemented (target: end of June). In parallel, the data format will be defined and the data transmission issues will be addressed. Once these matters are resolved, data management and the remaining functionalities will be implemented (target: September).

Current status

TV Snapshot is now undergoing beta testing.  Google results are now included in the TV Snapshot content. In addition, a Pop Up window appears to indicate a new version of the application is available when TV Snapshot is launched. Finally, TV Snapshot is now a DVB Viewer "plug in" rather than a "stand alone" application.

Status date

Monday, July 20, 2009 - 11:34