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Brazilian Digital TV at JavaONE 2009

Posted by felipegaucho on June 2, 2009 at 2:12 PM PDT

Visiting the Fishermans Wharf at San Francisco Bay I met the
Brazilians that will speak at JavaONE about the recent advances of the
Digital TV in Brazil: Clayton Chagas and Magno Cavalcante.

Here are some highlights from our conversation:

  1. What is the status of the Digital TV in Brazil?

    Since its inception in 2003, a lot is being done towards the
    replacement of the analogical system by a digital one. The academic
    community embraced the idea and the SBTVD is doing a great work in this
    sense. There is also a need for digital inclusion and a natural
    expectation from the industry in terms of the business possibilities of
    the new system.

  2. What is SBTVD?

    SBTVD is an acronym in Portuguese for Brazilian System
    of Digital Terrestrial TV
    , a committee formed by industry, government
    and academic entities. The role of this committee is to establish and
    to approve the standards of the Digital TV in Brazil.

  3. Why digital inclusion through the Digital TV? Why not
    using the Internet?

    The Internet helped a lot to spread the knowledge all over the
    world and there is no doubt it was one of the most important inventions
    from the last century, but in many countries - like Brazil - the access
    to the Internet are still expensive and restricted to a small portion
    of the society. This problem is a side effect of the weak
    infra-structure and poverty, people just don't have a computer or don't
    have access to a good connection or both. From the other side, TV is
    omnipresent in the Brazilian houses and to establish an interactive
    channel on these TVs is the way we believe we can include the poor
    people in the digital era. It seems more effective than the option of
    installing cables all over a continental territory and to distribute
    and to maintain millions of cheap/free computers. And we also see the
    Internet and the Digital TV converging to a unique system as soon
    middleware technologies becomes popular and compatible with the
    Internet legacy.

  4. The middleware is the key?

    Yes, because the transport layer and the codecs (MPEG-*) are
    standardized and working in several countries, but the way the raw
    bytes will be converted in Interactive Content is an open question. In
    a roughly comparison I would say it is pretty like the HTTP protocol
    and the frontend technologies on the web.

  5. And which is the Brazilian Middleware for Digital TV?

    The first Digital TV Middleware in Brazil is called GINGA, a
    system composed by two modules: GINGA-NCL and GINGA-J. The former is a
    declarative programming environment that enable scripts to run in the
    TV (LUA for example) while the latter is a programming environment
    based on Java.

  6. This Java part is what SUN donated to the open source community?

    No, SUN donated an API to replace the GEM (Globally Executable
    MHP - ITU) library. The donation removed some expensive royalties from
    our digital TV system, making the whole system more affordable for
    emergent countries and opened the opportunity for a fully open-source
    TV technology in a near future.

  7. Who is doing this job and when we can expect the Digital TV to
    be available in the Brazilian houses?

  8. The research and establishment of the standards for the SBTVD
    is being done in diverse universities of Brazil, with special remarks
    to PUC-RJ and the Federal University of the Paraiba. We expected the
    technical part to be operational at the end of 2009 and the first
    devices to start operating up to the end of 2010. In fact we have a
    political decision to end the analogical transmission in Brazil upt to
    2017, so the near future is quite promising. I am pretty sure we will
    watch the Soccer World Cup of 2014 in Digital TVs, with impressive
    quality and high interactivity - and I also hope to see the
    Brazil winning the final on that moment
  9. I agee (lol2). So, where people can find more
    information about that?

    We have a presentation during Java One:

    In the presentation we will do some demo presentations and we
    also give all details about the latest advances of the Brazilian
    Digital TV.

  10. Can you give me some references in advance?

    We will have a session during JavaOne when you introduce all the details, and I hope anyone interested about Digital TV to be there:

    Title: Java? in the Brazilian Digital TV: Interactivity and Digital Inclusion on TV

    Session Date: 05-JUN-2009
    Session Times: 13:30 : 14:30

    Session Type: Technical Session
    Speaker(s): Clayton Chagas, Engineer, Brazilian Army Research CenterMagno Cavalcante, Systems Analyst, Petrobras /
  11. References