“Tri-networks integration” refers to infiltration and compatibility between telecommunication networks, broadcasting and television networks, and computer communication networks and gradual integration thereof into an information communication network which is uniform in the world, for sharing network resource, avoiding low-level repeated construction, and forming a multimedia basic platform with high-speed broad-band characterized in wide applicability, easy maintenance and low cost.
After the “tri-networks integration”, people can make a phone call using a TV remoter controller, watch TV on a mobile phone, select a network and a terminal as required, and realize communication, TV, Internet access and the like by only a wire or wireless access.
Internationally, USA’s telecommunication law in 1996 has removed legal impediments for the tri-networks integration; the low has completely broken through restrictions due to the mixed operation in USA information industry and enhanced the competitiveness in the field of basic telecommunications; it allows not only mutual infiltration of services such as long-distance calls, local calls, broadcasting, cable television, film and video service and the like but also mutual equity participation of all kinds of telecommunication operators; thereby a legal environment full of free competition is created. Therefore, the whole telecommunication market has obtained unprecedented competitive access permission.
However, the integration policy of tri-networks has gone through a longer waiting time. Before 2011, IPTV business developed by telecommunications enterprise took a long time to have a large scale, which fundamentally restricted the step of the tri-networks integration. People could only watch/listen to digital audio and video performances on a broadcasting and television network. Of course, people could also obtain some passive and static characters and picture message by means of contents of HTML format issued in the form of digital broadcasting; however, complete Internet and broad masses were isolated by such technology, which was a regression in technology indeed.
On Jan.13, 2010, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council convened an executive meeting of the State Council and decided to speed up the integration of telecommunication networks, broadcasting and television networks and Internet. A timetable for the integration of the three networks was determined clearly in the meeting:
- From 2010 to 2012, the emphasis will be put on two-way access trials of broadcasting and television and telecommunication services; and a policy system and mechanism for guaranteeing orderly development of the tri-networks integration will be searched and formed. In July of this year, the list of 12 trial cities and regions of the first batch came out, including Beijing, Shanghai, Dalian, Harbin, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Qingdao, Wuhan, Shenzhen, Mianyang, and Changzhutan region in Hunan and the like.
- From 2013 to 2015, it is planned to summarize and popularize trial experiences, completely realize the development of the integration of the three networks, popularize application and integration services, form a network industrial pattern with appropriate competitiveness substantially, and establish a mechanism applicable to the tri-networks integration and a novel supervision and management system with clear responsibilities, smooth coordination, scientific decision, and effective management.
Thereafter, the tri-networks integration at home can be truly in a normal and rapid development. It is believed that under the support of policy, the tri-networks integration in China will further enrich people’ life and bring huge increasing space to related enterprises.
Technical requirements on terminals for the tri-networks integration
With the development of two-way trials of broadcasting and television and telecommunications, original digital TV set-top-box begins to support two-way transmission technology, namely, Internet access capability is increased on a set-top-box through the access of Ethernet; therefore:
- A TV set-top-box can obtain data information from Internet, so that mass content on Internet can be accessed through a TV, which is convenient for the realization of VoIP services, visual telephone services and the like.
- Real-time interaction capability is realized through a TV set-top-box, which is convenient for the on-demand audio and video performances and various value-added services.
When broad-bands accessed to the Internet are enough, people only require a IPTV set-top-box or a TV (network TV) with an Internet broad-band access interface to realize seamless access to Internet, on-demand of audio and video performances and various value-added services.
However, operation of the services has higher requirements on software on the set-top-box.
At the age of pure digital set-top-box, software operated in a the set-top-box had very limited functions; and the complexity of the software was also restricted due to strict requirement on the hardware cost of the digital set-top-box. However, with the appearance of two-way set-top-box, IPTV set-top-box, and network television, the software operated therein shall have the following characteristics:
- A simple real-time operation system operated in the digital set-top-box is replaced by a network operation system with functions powerful enough.
- In consideration of the general lack of computer operation experiences for people who watch TV performances regularly, two-way set-top-boxes, IPTV set-top-boxes and network televisions shall provide a user interface convenient for operation for users.
- Full-functional web browser conforming to W3C code.
MiniGUI and mDolphin will serve as terminals for the tri-networks integration so as to meet above technical requirements and provide the optimum support!
It is a network television solution constructed based on MiniGUI/mDolphin technology on a built-in Linux platform. The overall framework of the solution is as shown in figure 1.
Figure 1 Overall framework of network television based on MiniGUI/mDolphi/mPeer
Advantages of the solution
In the solution, various possible application softwares are operated on a built-in Linux as an operation system. A multi-progress graphics program operation environment can be realized by means of multi-progress support provided by MiniGUI V3.0.x, so as to realize the following characteristics:
- Improve the overall stability of the system; failure of a single application process will not influence the operation of the overall system;
- On-line download and running of application software; convenience for on-line updating and upgrading of application software and the system;
- Application of MiniGUI V3.0.x can realize special effects of user interface similar to Apple iPhone/iTV.
The solution includes a full-featured WEB browser product, mDolphin 2.0/3.0. mDolphin is a full-featured browser developed based on a WebKit browser core and runs on Linux and MiniGUI, conforming to the following standards or specifications:
- Support popular W3C standard: HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0, XML, CSS (2.1 and part of 3.0), XSLT, XPath, DOM (level 2 and part of 3), and AJAX (WebAPI).
- Support Netscape standard: JavaScrit 1.5.
- Follow standard Netscape plugin interface; combine audio and video decoder provided by a hardware platform; support on standard definition and high definition audio and video streams can be provided.
- Support HTTP 1.1, HTTPS, Cookie and proxy server.
- Support AJAX application.
- Support WEB2.0 application.
The application of mDolphin 3.0 can also take the following advantages:
- Higher operation performance of browser: compared with mDolphin 2.0, the overall performance of mDolphin 3.0 is improved by 30%; part of the performance is improved by 80%.
- Support on audio and video streams is provided through Media/Video/Audio tags of HTML5.
- Higher-level special effect UI based on the browser is developed through CANVAS tag support of HTML5.
The solution can further integrate a Java virtual machine system conforming to J2SE/J2ME specifications, so as to realize support on a Java application program.
The solution has the following requirements on a hardware platform
- It is better to include a 2D graphic acceleration chip in order to support high definition output.
- The minimum main frequency of an application processor shall be more than 400Mhz; it is better to include a floating point coprocessor).
- The minimum static storage space: 32MB, preferably 64MB;
- The minimum dynamic storage space: 64MB, preferably 128MB;
The solution has been verified on the following hardware platforms
- Broadcomm’s 7405;
- ST’s Sti7105, Sti7167, and Sti7108;
- SigmaDesigns’s SMP865x；
- Hisilicon’s Hi3560, Hi3716 and the like.