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  • Original Paper
  • Open Access

Towards the convergence of digital TV systems

  • 1Email author,
  • 1,
  • 1 and
  • 1
Journal of Internet Services and Applications20101:2

  • Received: 20 December 2009
  • Accepted: 31 January 2010
  • Published:


To allow producing digital TV applications independently from receiver’s hardware and operating system, and also to provide better support to application designs, middleware layer is introduced in digital TV system architectures. At first, middleware systems were developed aiming at specific transport platforms (IPTV, terrestrial DTV, etc.), offering support to services specifically designed for those platforms. However, the next generation of digital TV pulls all TV services present in all current platforms together into a single core of distributed services, as a result of the transport platforms convergence. In this hybrid TV, transport systems shall be concealed by the middleware to applications, as other operating system and hardware resources are hidden.

This paper emphasizes the middleware natural role as key technology for this upcoming convergent digital TV, raising some requirements to be committed. NCL and Ginga-NCL features—technologies recommended by ITU-T for IPTV services, and ISDB standards for terrestrial DTV—are used as examples of some proposed solutions, as well as to illustrate some issues which deserve future research attention and new better results.


  • Convergent digital TV
  • Middleware
  • Declarative languages
  • Ginga-NCL