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Last modified: October 02, 2001
Broadcast Markup Language (BML)

[October 02, 2001] Broadcast Markup Language (BML) is an XML-based standard developed by the Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB). It was adopted in 1999 as a Japanese standard ARIB STD B-24 "Data Coding and Transmission Specification for Digital Broadcasting."

Example BML header with FPI: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="EUC-JP" ?> <!DOCTYPE bml PUBLIC "+//ARIB STD-B24:1999//DTD BML Document//JA" "bml_1_0.dtd">. See the source.

From Toshiro YOSHIMURA, Multimedia Services: "ITU-T WP1/9 Agrees on Draft Recommendation J. api: The ITU-T WP1/9 meeting was held in Portland, Oregon, in the United States from November 6 to 10, 2000. Participants agreed on Draft Recommendation J. api, which consists of recommendations on the multimedia coding scheme and API from the viewpoint of the digital receiver. The Draft Recommendation establishes a framework for the multimedia API core set. It includes the multimedia coding standards (XHTML, CSS, DOM, and ECMAScript), which are introduced in the BML (Broadcast Markup Language) of ARIB STD-B24, 'Data coding and transmission specification for digital broadcasting.' The Draft Recommendation is scheduled for approval at the ITU-T SG9 Meeting in March 2001. Further, a Recommendation describing detailed specifications is presently under study..."

BML description of 2000-10 from "Developing TV Applications using Internet Technology," by Sean Hayes: "ARIB (Association of Radio Industries and Businesses) is a non-governmental group of radio communication equipment manufacturers, broadcasting equipment manufacturers, electric communication companies, service providers and other users established to develop standards related to radio communication equipment, broadcasting transmission equipment, and reception equipment. ARIB in 1999 established their standard entitled "Data Coding and Transmission Specification for Digital Broadcasting" in Japan, this again is an XML-based specification. The ARIB B24 specification derives BML from an early working draft of the XHTML 1.0 Strict document type, which it extends and alters. It appears that the ARIB B24 specification makes partial use of early XHTML 1.0 and XHTML Modularization (XHTMLMOD) working drafts, which have subsequently changed. For example, the BML DTD references two parameter entities, XHTML1-struct.module and XHTML1-frames.module , neither of which are defined by either XHTML 1.0 or the current XHTML Modularization Proposed Recommendation. The ARIB B24 specification references the May 5th 1999 working draft of XHTML 1.0 and the April 6th 1999 working draft of Modularization of XHTML. As a consequence of significant changes to both XHTML 1.0 and XHTML Modularization specifications, and a number of errors the ARIB B24 specification is substantially out of date with respect to the current W3C specifications in this area. As presently defined and not XHTML Host Language conformant..."

See the snapshot description of BML in "ATVEF, xHTML, bHTML, and BML" [Updated April 1, 2000]:

"ARIB, Association of Radio Industries and Businesses, is the standardization body in Japan for broadcasting. ARIB had been standardizing MHEG-5 specification for data services, but Ministry of Post and Telecommunication intervened and ultimately decided on June 8, 1999 that data services should use XML instead. Eventually the industry adopted the name of BML = Broadcasting Markup Language. Two sets of BML specifications are being discussed. BML 1.0 will be the language to be used in the initial broadcasting in BS-DBS in late 2000, while BML 2.0 will be the specification to be used later. Since the industry in Japan is somewhat skeptical about updating the receiver software by downloading, BML 2.0 will never be applied to the initially shipped receivers. The question arises whether broadcasters will move to BML 2.0 or not under such a condition.

"The specification of BML was fixed in October 1999. BML 1.0 was named BML in its narrower sense and BML 2.0 has become B-XML. Both are included in BML in its broader sense. In the digital HDTV receiver to be shipped from June 2000 and to be used from December 2000, BML will be implemented and used. B-XML is planned to be converted into BML by a conversion rule in XSLT in the receiver, but the conversion will not be implemented at least in the initial receivers.

"BML 1.0 will consists of; (1) xHTML, (2) CSS 1 and 2, (3) ECMAScript and (4) extensions for broadcasting, i.e. Events, Objects, and Lists. BML 1.0 has a fixed logical structure of the document defined by a single DTD = Document Type Definition, and thus it is actually an HTML language defined by means of XML rather than XML itself. BML 2.0 is said to have user-defineable DTDs to make use of the most important feature of XML. As you see, BML 1.0 is quite similar to ATVEF or bHTML. It is good actually, from the standardization viewpoint. The world is getting smaller.

"Decision was made as mentioned above. Although BML (1.0) appears quite similar to ATVEF comparing items, ATVEF emphasizes compatibility with Web contents, while BML seeks for a unique world of TV and is detached from the world of Web, as Web people lament. bHTML seems inactive these days..."

See the review of the specification by WWVi [Keisuke Kamimura]: "The World Wide Vision Initiative (WWVi) has studied ARIB STD B-24 'Data Coding and Transmission Specification for Digital Broadcasting', which was developed and published by the Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB). After studying the specification, which is also known as 'BML', we concluded that it has a number of defects as a public specification..." [cache]

[April 10, 2002]   iTV Production Standards Initiative Creates XML Standards for Interactive Television.    Related effort: In April 2002, a new Interactive Television Production Standards Initiative was launched by television and interactive production companies, programmers, and technology providers. The open standards initiative will address the current industry situation in which "there are several disparate middleware platforms, operating systems, and hardware devices for distributing iTV and no common means of producing interactive programming. XML has been chosen for the standard because of its general acceptance as an open method for transferring data and its compatibility with all of the major iTV platforms. Of the three principal components of iTV programming (content, presentation, behavior), the initiative will seek to standardize only content and presentation. The content production portion of the standard specifies the timing and content of interactive assets such as trivia games, polls, interactive advertising, leaderboards, etc.; presentation description portion of the standard specifies the visual elements of the program, the location of these elements, and a method for mapping content to these locations. The iTV production standards initiative will be compatible with the other major iTV standards, such as SMPTE DDE-1 (ATVEF), SMPTE DDE-2, DVB-MHP, and ATSC-DASE. An XML schema developed by GoldPocket Interactive for enhanced TV programming has been used to create draft specifications, now under review by the WG; the expanded and refined XML spec documents will be published on May 5, 2002. [Full context]


  • Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB).

  • [October 02, 2001] "Template-Based, Format-Extensible Authoring for BS Digital Data Broadcast Service." By Ryuichi OGAWA, Kazuo YANOO, and Daigo TAGUCHI (NEC Internet Systems Research Laboratories). In NEC Research and Development Volume 42, Number 3 (July, 2001), pages 286-291 (with 10 references). "This paper gives an outline of a template-based authoring system for BS (Broadcast Satellite) digital data broadcast service started in December 2000 in Japan.The system is designed to compose multimedia documents in BML (Broadcast Markup Language) format. BML is an XML (Extensible Markup Language) based data specification language adopted as Japanese standard for the service.The authoring system provides template functions to combine XML data sources with BML style templates. Also it provides data-binding rules with the templates to generate BML instances automatically.The templates and the rules are extensible so that they can generate multi-format contents written in BML and HTML for cross-media services..." Note also the presentation on "Template-Based, Format-Extensible Authoring for BS Digital Data Broadcast Service" given by the authors an the Workshop On Highly Distributed Systems, 2001 Symposium on Applications and the Internet (SAINT-2001), San Diego-Mission Valley, California, USA, January 9-12, 2001.

  • "Overview of B-XML/BML draft specification developed by ARIB." Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB). October 1999. "Japan will start BS digital broadcasting from December, 2000 and digital terrestrial broadcasting not later than 2003... the XML WG of ARIB is currently developing an XML based multimedia content format which can be commonly used for data broadcasting services of BS and terrestrial broadcasting, based on the following objectives: (1) it satisfies the requirements for digital broadcasting and its data broadcasting which have been discussed in the Digital Broadcasting System Committee of the Telecommunications Technology Council. (2) it ensures high extensibility which is a feature of the XML based coding scheme and international exchangeability. (3) it can also be introduced with the minimum influence on receiver costs from the start of BS digital broadcasting in the year 2000... Scheme of the draft specification: An XML application language defined in this specification consists of a set of tags for multimedia content format. The application language is called BML (Broadcast Markup Language). The scope is the same as that which has been drawn up with the basis of the formerly existing ARIB's requirements for multimedia services and that which is currently drawn up as a presentation engine by ATSC/DASE. The XML tags defined in each application should be provided by the DTD of its application respectively and transformed to the BML tags by XSLT for the presentation process of the receiver terminal. The XML scheme defined with this method is called B-XML (Broadcast XML)..." [cache/text]

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