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Last modified: August 26, 2002
TV Anytime Forum

[October 02, 2001]

The global TV-Anytime Forum is "an association of [approximately 146] member organizations which seeks to develop specifications to enable audio-visual and other services based on mass-market high volume digital storage in consumer platforms - simply referred to as local storage. The TV-Anytime Forum was formed at an inaugural meeting held in Newport Beach, California, USA, on 27-29 September 1999. It has started work to develop open specifications designed to allow Consumer Electronics Manufacturers, Content Creators, Telcos, Broadcasters and Service Providers to exploit local storage. The TV-Anytime Forum will define specifications that will enable applications to exploit local persistent storage in consumer electronics platforms. The TV-Anytime Forum is network independent with regard to the means for content delivery to consumer electronics equipment, including various delivery mechanisms (e.g., ATSC, DVB, DBS and others) and the Internet and enhanced TV. The TV-Anytime Forum will develop specifications for interoperable and integrated systems, from content creators/providers, through service providers, to the consumers. The TV-Anytime Forum will specify the necessary security structures to protect the interests of all parties involved. Member organizations from Europe, the USA, and Asia, are drawn from a wide variety of industries: Traditional Broadcasters, Internet Broadcasters, Content Owners, Service Providers, Telcos, Consumer Electronics Manufacturers, IT Industries, Professional Equipment Manufacturers, Component Manufacturers and Software Vendors. The TV-Anytime Forum invites participation from all interested organizations. Membership is open to all who sign the Memorandum of Understanding and attend meetings. Meetings are held approximately every two months in Europe, the USA, and Asia.

Key requirements documents informing the formal specifications include: (1) TV-Anytime Environment Requirements Document, 11-Aug-2000 or later; (2) System Requirements Document, 07-April-2000 or later; (3) Metadata Requirements Document, 07-April-2000 or later; (4) Content Referencing Requirements Document, 07-April-2000 or later; (5) Rights Management & Protection Requirements Document, 15-Dec-2000 or later.

A normative TV-Anytime Metadata Specification [Series: S-3] was published as SP003v1.1 on August 17, 2001. Edited by Jean-Pierre Evain (Metadata Editor), Mufit Ferman (XML Editor), and Henry Chadwick (Overall Editor). 66 pages.

The metadata specification contains three appendices. Appendix A (TV-Anytime Usage History Thesaurus) contains a thesaurus for valid terms of the ActionType element in the Usage History Description Scheme. Appendix B supplies the TV-Anytime Genre Dictionary. Appendix C (TV-Anytime Description Schemes) aggregates the TV-Anytime description schemes listed in the document into a single file, tva11.xsd; these description schemes, along with the MPEG-7 DSs referenced herein, constitute the normative set of TV-Anytime metadata, version 1.1. The SP003V11 [S-3] distribution package for the TV-Anytime Metadata specification introduces new technology in particular metadata for segmentation and includes updates in the semantics in order to maintain maximum compatibility with the version of XML in use in MPEG and W3C. A file SP003-Appendix B.xls contains the TV-Anytime genre dictionary (version 0.3). The file mds_for_tva.xsd represents an informative XML Schema file containing all the MPEG-7 MDS schemas, including types that are referenced in tva_v11.xsd. This file can be used when validating against tva_v11.xsd. The type names contained in this stub are taken from the Final Committee Draft of the MPEG-7 Multimedia Description Schemes. The file xmlVer1r.xsd is a stub to the latest XML Schema Specification, including the types referenced in the TV-Anytime SP003v11 specification. See MPEG-7 Standard.

In the context of TV-Anytime, metadata means "descriptive data about content, such as program title and synopsis. We call such metadata 'attractors' because they can attract a consumer to content. Attractors allow consumers to find, navigate and manage content from various sources. In addition to attractors, metadata as defined by TV-Anytime also includes information about user preferences and history. User preference information, such as favorite actors or TV shows, is included within the scope of TV-Anytime metadata to allow software agents to select content on the consumer's behalf. The set of metadata described in this document was selected in order to satisfy the usage scenarios listed in the TV-Anytime business models requirements document R-1. The formal definitions of metadata schemas should be read in conjunction with the system specification defining how they could be used in an end-to-end system TV-Anytime only defines the metadata format for metadata that may be exchanged between various entities such as between the content provider and consumer, among consumers, or between a third-party metadata provider and the consumer. The metadata 'representation format' defined here is the formal specification of how TV-Anytime metadata is represented in XML. Although XML Schema is used to define how metadata is represented in XML, it can also be used to describe equivalent, non-XML representations of the same metadata. For example, TV-Anytime metadata could be encoded in a binary format for transmission or storage. This document defines the metadata schemas that are used within the overall TV-Anytime system. Note that the transport mechanism for metadata is out of scope of TV-Anytime; it must be specified by other bodies such as DVB, ATSC and ARIB."

Metadata types defined by the specification include: "(1) Content Description Metadata, which describes content independently of any particular instantiation of that content. (2) Instance Description Metadata, used for linking content metadata to content [CRID, useful in cases where there are meaningful differences between instances of the same content]. (3) Consumer metadata, modeled as description schemes for describing usage history information gathered over extended periods of time. The collected usage history provides a list of the actions carried out by the user for an observation period, which can subsequently be used by automatic analysis methods to generate user preferences. Usage scenarios include tracking and monitoring the content viewed by individual members of a household; building a personalized TV guide by tracking user viewing habits; selling viewing history to advertisers; tracking and monitoring content usage for more efficient content development; selling of usage data by service provider; compensating the user for making his/her usage history data available to content providers. (4) Segmentation metadata, which supports the ability to define, access and manipulate temporal intervals (i.e., segments) within an AV stream. By associating metadata with segments and segment groups, it is possible to restructure and re-purpose an input AV stream to generate alternative consumption and navigation modes. Such modes could include, for example, a summary of the content with highlights, or a set of bookmarks that point to "topic headings" within the stream. Such metadata can be provided by service providers or broadcasters as a value-added feature, and/or generated by viewers themselves. Applications include, for example, repurposing of content for educational purposes."

"For the purpose of interoperability, the TV-Anytime Forum has adopted XML as the common representation format for metadata. XML offers many advantages: it allows for extensibility, supports the separation of data from the application, and is widely used. In addition, powerful XML tools are now available such as XSL (XML Stylesheets), XQL (XML Query Language), and XML databases that can be used to process and manage XML data. As a textual format, XML tends to be rather verbose; however, a number of mechanisms are being developed to reduce the bandwidth when necessary. A metadata schema is the formal definition of the structure and type of metadata. TV-Anytime uses the MPEG-7 Description Definition Language (DDL) to describe metadata structure as well as the XML encoding of metadata. DDL itself is [2001-08] based on XML schema 'W3C Proposed Recommendation' (version 20010306). The MPEG-7 data types and description schemes in the TVA Metadata Specification are currently taken from the MPEG-7 MDS Final Committee Draft (FCD). It is expected that future versions of this specification will refer to the MPEG-7 MDS International Standard. The TV-Anytime description schemes that have been developed under the auspices of the TV-Anytime Forum are associated with the TV-Anytime XML namespace. The TV-Anytime namespace is defined as: xmlns="". Note that TV-Anytime metadata also includes description schemes defined by MPEG-7, which use the MPEG-7 namespace. The XML specification does not require that an XML instance document include a reference to the schema that describes it; however, for TV-Anytime metadata we do make this requirement in order to identify which schema the document conforms to."

A normative TV-Anytime Content Referencing Specification [Series: S-4] was published 14-April-2001, 42 pages. "The purpose of content referencing is to allow acquisition of a specific instance of a specific item of content. For example, if a consumer sees an announcement on TV saying 'there'll be a new series of the Agatha Christie's Murder Mysteries next year', he/she may want to instruct their Personal Digital Recorder (PDR) to record the whole series, but cannot since he/she does not know when the episodes are going to be broadcast. In fact, the broadcaster may not know yet either. Still the viewer will want to make sure at this point that he/she does not miss the opportunity to acquire the content. To provide the capability desired by the consumer, the ability is needed to refer to content (in this example a series of programs) independent of its location, whether that location is on a particular broadcast channel on some date and time, or on a file server connected to Internet, or wherever. In this example, the PDR system would be provided with a reference for the series. In due time, the body who assigned the reference would provide the information required to link this reference to the individual episodes, and subsequently to a specific date and time for each episode so that the PDR would be able to acquire all of them. This example demonstrates the purpose of content referencing - to provide the ability to refer to content independent of its location, and the ability to subsequently resolve such a reference into one or more locations where the content can be obtained. Of course 'content' can refer to many types of information. In addition to the television programs in the example above, it may include radio programs, audio tracks, MPEG-4 objects, scenes, images, music, etc..."

An informative TV-Anytime System Description Specification [Series: S-2] was published 22-June-2001, 38 pages.

This TV-Anytime specification "shows the system behaviour of a TV-Anytime broadcast system with an interaction channel used for consumer response. It focuses on the use of the TV-Anytime content reference specification in combination with the TV-Anytime metadata specification in a system context. The specification provides examples of how to use both specifications both from static and dynamic viewpoints, highlighting the parties involved in the processes and showing the interaction between them.

A simple TV-Anytime broadcast system can be viewed as containing three major elements: a service provider delivering the TV-Anytime service, a transport provider that carries the service and a piece of equipment in the home that stores the content and plays it back at the consumer's request. The [Requirements document] 'TV-Anytime R-2: System Description' document examines the mechanisms behind this simple model and gives a comprehensive functional reference model.

The broadcast model with a narrowband bi-directional channel is a pure broadcast model as far as content and associated data is concerned. In this broadcast model only three system functions are external to the PDR: content creation, content service provision and access. The bi-directional link between user and service provider can be used to get usage history data or preference data from a consenting user. A movie studio or entertainment company could fulfil the role of content creator. A broadcaster would typically handle the repackaging, addition of metadata and broadcasting of the content: the content service provision function. A cable or satellite operator typically provides the access. The remaining functions reside in the PDR [Personal Digital Recorder]. The PDR can be considered as a real device at the consumer's premises that allows him to store and view content. The PDR encompasses functions such as search and navigation, location resolution, user interaction, content presentation and local storage management. This system will allow the user to search, select, locate and acquire content that he likes. The search and selection, e.g., by an EPG, will be on the basis of broadcast metadata that advertises the available content. One or more parties can put this metadata in the broadcast: the broadcaster, the content creator or a third party...The search and navigation will result after user- or automatic selection in a content reference ID (CRID). The resolution function in the PDR, using the previously obtained content reference ID, results in a physical location of the content (e.g., a particular channel & time). Location resolution data must have been broadcast to allow the PDR to actually perform this translation from reference ID to in this example physical channel and time. The interfaces on the PDR will be subject to the appropriate rights management and protection policies that will be defined in a later version of the TV-Anytime specification series.


  • TV-Anytime Forum web site
  • TV-Anytime Forum Members
  • Forum Overview
  • TV Anytime Forum Important Documents
  • Output Documents from the TV-Anytime Forum meetings
  • Specifications of the TV-Anytime Forum
  • Metadata Specification (Normative). [source .ZIP]
  • Metadata spec supporting files: genre dictionary; description schemes [XSD]; MPEG-7 MDS schemas [XSD]; stub for XML Schema/TVA [XSD]; see also TV Anytime content referencing spec XSD.
  • Content Referencing Specification (Normative). [source .ZIP]
  • TV-Anytime Forum Specification Series: S-2, System Description (Informative, with mandatory Appendix B). Reference: SP002v1.2. Date: 5 April 2002. 39 pages. This TV-Anytime specification shows the system behavior of a TV-Anytime broadcast system with an interaction channel used for consumer response. It focuses on the use of the TVAnytime content reference specification in combination with the TV-Anytime metadata specification in a system context. The specification will show examples of how to use both specifications both from static and dynamic viewpoints, i.e., it will highlight the parties involved in the processes and show the interaction between them. Note from Section 5.2, 'XML - a common representation format': "For the purpose of interoperability, the TV-Anytime Forum has adopted XML Schema as the common representation format for documentation of metadata. XML offers many advantages: it allows for extensibility, supports the separation of data from the application, and is widely used. In addition, powerful XML tools are now available such as XSL (XML Stylesheets), XQL (XML Query Language), and XML databases that can be used to process and manage XML data. As a textual format, XML tends to be rather verbose; however, a number of mechanisms are being developed to reduce the bandwidth when necessary. It is important to note that the XML representation of a TV-Anytime document is just that, a representation. It is one possible representation of the metadata; it is not the only representation of the metadata. There is no assumption that TV-Anytime metadata must be represented in XML format. Metadata could be represented by an optimized binary format to conserve bandwidth and aid rapid processing and mapping to a database. It is strongly recommended that if XML is used as exchange syntax for TV Anytime metadata, then that XML should conform to the TV-Anytime Schema. This has obvious advantages in the business-2-business realm in addition to the business-2-consumer realm. The following sections introduce the TV-Anytime metadata schemas. They also provide snippets of XML instance documents. Basic knowledge of XML is needed in order to understand the following sections..." RLTC source: ZIP package, Word .DOC.
  • System Description Specification (Informative). See preceding. [source .ZIP]
  • TV-Anytime Forum Specification Series: S-1. On Phase 1 Benchmark Features. Document SP001v11 TVAF S-1 [SP001V1.1]. Date: 21 December, 2001. 29 pages. "This document lists and defines the TV-Anytime Phase 1 features that are identified in document 'R-1: The TV-Anytime Environment' (TV035r6) which describes PDR (Personal Digital Recorder) usage models that the TV-Anytime standards facilitate... Appendix A of this document provides a set of Benchmark Business Scenarios as examples to aid manufacturers and service/content providers in understanding the intended nature and capabilities of TV-Anytime systems/services. These business scenarios will also be used as general guidance by the TV-Anytime Systems Design, Content Referencing, Metadata, and Rights Management and Protection groups to verify that their Phase 1 specifications fully enable the TV-Anytime Phase 1 Feature set..." See the corresponding RLTC posting from Brad Gandee: "Attached are the two of the documents ... that our liaison at TV Anytime Forum says are relevant for the purpose of extracting requirements." Sources: ZIP package, Word .DOC.
  • Phase 1 Benchmark Applications - Phase 1 Features, Implementation Options, Phase 2 Features (Informative). February 16, 2001 or later. See preceding entry.
  • TV-Anytime Forum contacts [2001-10-02]: Chairperson: Simon Parnall; Vice-chairpersons: Henry D. Chadwick and Wataru Kameyame; Administrator: Lynne Apodaca.
  • "RMP Specification Drafting Process Specification Workbook." The TV-Anytime Forum. TV-Anytime RMP Group WD550. AWAJI, March 2002. 64 pages. ['This document comprises the drafts of those various sections that will ultimately make the TV-Anytime RMP Specification, document S-5.'] The document contains several XML schemas. "From section 5.3 on 'RMPI Protection': "The goal of this section is to describe the meaning and use of rights management and protection information in a TV Anytime context using models and terminology (semantics) sufficient for human understanding, and to refine those descriptions into explicit syntax using XML that was precise enough to construct conformance tests, and could be machine parsed with sufficient precision to control TV Anytime devices according to the requirements specified in documents WD460 (working draft S-5 specification) and TV039r7 (RMP R-5 Requirements), and RMPI contribution documents. The scope of this work is primarily to provide a mechanism for describing the use of video content. It is not the intent of this document to decide what uses are appropriate. It is assumed that representatives of content rights holders, broadcasters, equipment manufacturers, governments, and consumers will determine what uses of content are appropriate, and RMPI will provide the means to define and express those uses. The RMP system, in cooperation with RMP information and the RMP information management system described here, will control those uses in accordance with the RMPI provided..." [Source: TV Anytime website; local]
  • "TV-Anytime Metadata: A Preliminary Specification On Schedule!" By Jean-Pierre Evain. In EBU Technical Review Number 284 (September 2000). ISSN: 1609-1469, from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Geneva, Switzerland. "TV-Anytime will allow consumers to watch programmes in the way they want and when they want. Consumers will be able to access content from a variety of sources, including traditional broadcast and new on-line interactive services -- for presentation at any time of the day. New tools (including hard-disk storage, set-top boxes, and high-speed Internet access) will allow us to achieve that goal, i.e., to search, select, access, personalize, capture, and manage a wide and diverse range of attractive content. This article describes the current work to define a metadata solution, within the metadata technical framework approved by the TV-Anytime Forum. The article is based on the preliminary TV-Anytime specification, which was approved for publication on 28-September-2000 at Marina del Rey, California... For the sake of interoperability, TV-Anytime has adopted a common representation format for the exchange of metadata. Interoperability means that a metadata provider using this representation format will be ensured that this information is appropriately interpreted, processed and rendered on different platform implementations. Interoperability also means that different original representation formats can be used -- provided that bi-directional transformation into the common format is possible. This TV-Anytime common description definition language is the XML schema. XML schema has also been selected and superset by MPEG-7. The SMPTE is considering the use of DTDs to allow the bi-directional transformation of SMPTE KLV-encoded metadata into XML. Recognising the importance of XML for exchange, some individual members of EBU P/META are also working on an XML representation of their meta-data... XML is also used outside a metadata framework, in particular for presentation engines which manipulate declarative content (ARIB, ATSC DASE, DVB MHP). The TV-Anytime metadata solution is a data model described using UML, a modelling language which is independent of any representation format. It is complemented by a representation format (XML and XML-Schema) used to edit the preliminary UML modellized tools of TV-Anytime... As already mentioned, TV-Anytime has opted for an XML framework. Description tools are UML modellized and represented, using the XML-Schema syntax, and structured. XML-Schema allows the extending of a data structure and associated semantics on purpose. If bandwidth and platform resource were infinite, one could imagine that each schema and its associated semantics being systematically re-defined and delivered with an application. However, if a common representation format guarantees interoperability, it is useful to have a common library of schemas to maximize the use of the network and client resources. A dictionary can also be used to establish a reference for semantics including controlled terms (enumeration lists) to be used as values when instantiating schemas into descrip-tions. It is not necessary to systematically use XML and XML-Schema. Other formats can be used which can be translated into XML on the client platform in order to benefit from the XML application environment. One example is the use of SMPTE metadata that can be KLV encoded and delivered to the box where KLV-XML translation would occur (work in progress within the SMPTE). The alternative consists of using a different representation format for specific applications..." [cache]

  • [November 27, 2001] On November 26, 2001, ContentGuard announced that it had submitted the XrML 2.0 specification to TV Anytime for consideration as a digital rights language.

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