|Park Jae-Hong, CEO of net&tv Inc.
As the company's name implies, 'net&tv' is a venture company that aims to take advantage of the new possibilities created by the convergence of digital broadcasting and communication.
Founded in August 2000 by the engineers who previously worked for the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), net&tv specializes in the development of interactive media solutions based on MPEG-4 technologies for next-generation Internet and digital broadcasting.
It currently produces MPEG-4 authoring tools and streaming/broadcasting systems to facilitate interactive Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (iDMB).
'interactive Digital Multimedia Broadcasting' is a new technology that enables interactive multimedia broadcasting services by providing links between DMB contents and wireless internet services. iDMB utilizes MPEG-4 Binary Format for Scene (BIFS) technology, which is part of DMB video service standard for embedded data service.
Through iDMB, users will be provided with additional data in the form of buttons, icons and menus together with audio-visual contents, in order to access and enjoy ancillary services to broadcast programs. In addition, users will be able to easily switch to wireless Internet home pages when the receiver is equipped with wireless communication function such as CDMA, GSM or Wibro.
"Basically, we don't see DMB simply as a broadcasting service but rather view it as a platform where the convergence comes true. The convergence of broadcasting with communications is something that can be easily managed since the functions of the devices themselves are merged. However, our main concern is how these two can properly be combined to subsequently bringing synergy. We thought how nice it would be if the two services, instead of simply being accessible via two terminals, could instead be merged and be accessible through only one device," said Park Jae-Hong, CEO of net&tv Inc.
Mr. Park, who is also the CEO of the KMMB consortium, one of 6 bidders for the 3 available terrestrial DMB licenses, said, "We intended to create new solutions and a new market based on MPEG-4 technologies. What we had thought possible was that by applying MPEG-4 technologies to such systems as DMB and Internet streaming services, new solutions and new contents would emerge to form new opportunities."
"Accordingly," he continued, "we thought it would be great if we could build a wireless Internet services coupled to broadcast contents that would enable curious users to access additional information and services such as the backgrounds of actors they see in dramas, the music they are listening, the locations where they are shot, and so forth."
To do so requires a 'MPEG-4 BIFS' technology that represents interactive contents. The result of the company's efforts in this field is solutions that can be summarized largely into two parts. One is called 'Studio4idmb', an authoring tool that allows the insertion of auxiliary data in the form of an icon or menu that users can browse through to give them more fun to watching television. Secondly, the company has developed a solution called 'SMX4idmb' that aids the streaming of these contents for broadcast purposes.
"As the technology itself is one that has evolved into an international standard, we cannot claim it as ours. However, our products effectively implementing this technology can be said to be the first of its kind in the world and we plan to demonstrate this in cooperation with KMMB consortium and other domestic broadcasters as soon as possible," said Mr. Park.
"In a business environment where communication and broadcasting converge, we will continue to build authoring tools and solutions. Moreover, as DMB itself will evolve into a system that can provide various services, and as other forms of media such WiBro will emerge, we will continue to see demand for new solutions being generated. And, every time a new type of media is developed, it is there that we will concentrate our efforts accordingly," he said.
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