Skip to main content

IBC Terminal for Interactive Services

Objective

ITIS has provided a multi service terminal (MST) demonstrator for simulating broadband services. There were three main areas of interest in this project:

- The general hardware and software architecture for a variety of dedicated IBC terminals.
- The terminal technology to simultaneously simulate several IBC services in one multi-service connection and make them available simultaneously to the user.
- Advanced terminal user interface procedures for simultaneous usage of services.
ITIS has provided a multiservice terminal (MST) demonstrator for simulating broadband services based on a generic architecture of an integrated broadcast communications (IBC) multiservice terminal, and the terminal technology to simulate several IBC services at the same time in 1 multiservice connection and make them available simultaneously to the user. In the demonstrator the following services were supported:
information retrieval and text communication (videotex with alpha-mosaic decoder and photographic decoder);
video telephone;
group 4 telefax;
moving image distribution (television);
moving image retrieval.

The simulation of broadband communications has been done by connection to integrated services digital network (ISDN) networks in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, using gateways between these networks and by using representative simulated IBC services in selected application scenarios.

Several demonstrator hardware and software modules form a basis for further exploitation:
network interface modules supporting ISDN telephone and telefax functions;
a video codec module;
a television and cable network interface for personal computers (PC);
one of the first videotex photographic image decoders;
a display post processor for multiinput image handling;
a software tracing and integration tool;
man machine interface (MMI) prototyping tools.

The demonstrator will allow applications for future communication requirements to run, but from today's viewpoints. This leads to new thoughts on the definition of new broadband services and their application in a real multiservice terminal for IBC.
Technical Approach

The generic IBC terminal architecture defines functional blocks with dedicated processing power, interconnected via a high speed bus network and a control and management network. The main blocks are: network interface, moving image processor, alphagraphic processor, audio processor, display post processor.

The simulation of broadband communications has been done with MST demonstrators:

- connected to ISDN networks in UK, France, and Germany, using gateways between these networks
- using representative simulated IBC services, in selected application scenarios
- with a multitasking operating system and a versatile user surface
- based on a highly structured software and internal communication architecture.

Key Issues

- The MST is considered to be the future telephone.
- An information base represents the user model.

Achievements

The generic architecture of an IBC multi service terminal has been defined in the generic MST functional specification. The demonstrator for simultaneous simulated IBC services has been specified and the following services supported:

- information retrieval and text communication: videotex with alpha-mosaic decoder and photographic decoder
- videotelephone
- group 4 telefax
- moving image distribution (TV)
- moving image retrieval (VLP).

Hardware and software modules have been designed. A development and prototyping environment for the demonstrator MMI design has been built. Several demonstrator hardware and software modules form a basis for further exploitation:

- network interface modules supporting ISDN telephone and telefax functions
- a video-codec module
- a TV and cable network interface for PCs
- one of the first videotex photographic image decoders
- a display post processor for multi-input image handling
- a software tracing and integration tool
- MMI prototyping tools.

Expected Impact

The demonstrator will allow applications for future communication requirements to run, but from today's viewpoints. This leads to new thoughts on the definition of new broadband services and their application in a real multi service terminal for IBC.

Coordinator

LOEWE OPTA GMBH
Address
Industriestrasse 11
1554 Kronach
Germany

Participants (2)

MARI Group Ltd
United Kingdom
Matra Communication
France