British Digital Broadcasting selects the digital interactive technology from CANAL+

19th May 1998

British Digital Broadcasting (BDB), the world’s first digital terrestrial service to be launched before the end of 1998, has selected the MEDIAHIGHWAY interactive system from CANAL+, Europe’s first supplier of digital broadcasting technology with over 1.6 million installed set-top boxes and 65 percent of the marketplace. Back in February, BDB already chose the conditional access system MEDIAGUARD from Société Européenne de Contrôle d’Accès, a joint venture between CANAL+ and Bertelsmann.

CANAL+ will provide BDB with its interactive MEDIAHIGHWAY system which includes a version of the universal graphics interpreter MHEG-5 selected by the Digital Terrestrial Group (DTG) as the standard for all digital terrestrial broadcasters in the United Kingdom.

Already implemented or about to be deployed in 11 European countries, the CANAL+ digital technology is now available to broadcasters around the world. CANAL+ is one of the few companies capable of offering end-to-end solutions to digital broadcasters in the satellite, cable and terrestrial environments, and a technology with a proven track record for over two years.

One of the key advantages of MEDIAHIGHWAY is its easy portability on any hardware platform and total independence from the technical solutions and operating systems chosen by a set-top box manufacturer. This gives the CANAL+ client total freedom to select the manufacturers with whom it wants to work. Over 15 MEDIAHIGHWAY licences have already been granted to international manufacturers, with an additional 10 currently in negotiations.

Thanks to the multi-layered software architecture of MEDIAHIGHWAY, CANAL+ will be the first company in the world to come up with a digital interactive system that will fully comply with the open specifications for a Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) to be proposed to the Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) Project, a group of over 200 international manufacturers and broadcasters. Its latest release MEDIAHIGHWAY+ will follow international and open standards based on the DAVIC specifications for a virtual machine and on MHEG-5.

One of MEDIAHIGHWAY’s great strengths is its adaptability and scalability in order to meet the specific requirements of each individual operator.

Henri Joubaud, Group Senior Vice President Technology, CANAL+, said:

"I am delighted to work with such a dynamic and professional company as BDB which will be launching the world’s first digital terrestrial service before the end of the year."

John Egan, Director of Operations at BDB, said:

"This marks another milestone for BDB. CANAL+ has all the experience and skill we need to launch BDB in the last quarter of this year."