1). ESG or EPG System in Network Architecture
§ IPTV EPG End-to-End Network Architecture below describes the building blocks that comprise an end-to-end IPTV EPG solution
1.1). Metadata Generator:
§ The EPG needs schedule data to allow the viewer receive information about IPTV broadcast and on-demand services. The technical and industry term for this data is metadata.
§ The metadata generator is at the heart of an end-to-end IPTV EPG system and allows IPTV service providers to acquire, edit, generate, and play out EPG schedule data over the network.
§ IPTV metadata defines data about data and is typically formatted in XML.
§ It combines video content information from both the content provider and network operator.
1.2). IPTV EPG Application Server:
§ The metadata generator interfaces with the EPG server to deliver program information to the EPG client application in a suitable format.
§ The application server consists of software programs, a HTTP server, and a centralized database that contains the event data of all the broadcast programs on offer.
§ The EPG (Application) Server may have four main functions:
1.3). Client EPG Application
§ The level of functionality provided by the EPG client application can include some or all of the following features:
§ Allows end users to customize list of favorite multicast channels and on-demand titles.
§ Allows end users to change the look and feel of the screen layout.
§ Provides end users with an efficient mechanism of navigating through the various IPTV services and channels that are on offer from the network operator.
2). The ESG solution in further detailed can be split into three portions:
§ Metadata Management
§ User Profile Management
§ ESG Discovery and Delivery
2.1). Metadata Management
§ Metadata Management enables gathering the real-time feeds of live EPG information by DVB-SI Handler as well as uploaded feeds from external metadata providers via Metadata Provider Portal.
§ It also enables metadata aggregation and validation based on standardized data models by Metadata Aggregator and Metadata Storage in Metadata Repository.
Details of each component within the metadata managements are:
§ facilitates metadata submission from the external metadata providers.
§ The portal provides a simple web-based interface, via which metadata providers can upload, update or delete the metadata.
§ retrieves the DVB-SI information from the connected EPG system and transforms it to XML-based data for further processing.
§ aggregates the metadata from different sources.
§ All ingested sources will be transformed into standard-based DVB IPDC ESG formats, in which TV Anytime will be adopted for content description due to its semantic richness.
§ Slight modifications on the metadata may also occur if it is not based on the schema.
§ After final validation, it will upload the metadata to metadata repository.
§ stores the ESG metadata generated by Metadata Aggregator.
2.2). User Profile Management
§ enables storage of user information including user preferences and user contexts log in User Profile DB.
§ connects with ESG Manager to support user-related information for personalizing ESG services.
§ This user-related information is gathered from the end-user by linking to ESG Service Discovery Portal via
2.3). ESG Discovery and Delivery
§ The ESG can be pulled by ESG Discovery Portal via
§ It should also integrate the function of broadcasting ESG using the FLUTE IP carousel via DVB-H network.
§ provides the end users with access to ESG services via
§ acts as a key component in the ESG delivery system responsible of generating and delivering the ESG containing the program listing for general broadcasting purpose as well as the tailored version according to the user preferences and contexts.
§ For creating the personalized version, it gets the ESG metadata by connecting with Metadata Repository and retrieves user profiles from User Profile DB.
§ ESG Manager also attaches to the Billing or DRM subsystem to acquire necessary user subscription and digital right information.
§ The key functionality of ESG Manager is to filter content based on user preferences and context.
§ The purpose of content filtering is to tailor the desired content based on the genre preference after adjustment by rule-based reasoning. Specifically, the aim of the content filtering algorithm is to filter programs whose genre descriptions have the higher similarity to the genre model in the user preference.
3). The steps of launching EPG application:
§ The steps involved in launching an EPG application are illustrated in Figure below and explained in following sections:
§ Step 1: The EPG key is pressed and the client application processes the command.
§ Step 2: Launching of an EPG over an IPTV network utilizes a browser based client-server networking model. Thus, the next step in the process involves the establishment of a network connection between the EPG browser application and backend server (EPG Application Server).
§ Step 3: The command is received in the form of IP packets, authenticated, and a Web page is generated by the server. The Web page will contain channel information requested by the end user. This information will either be cached at the IPTV EPG server or requested from the metadata generator.
§ Step 4: The IPTV EPG server sends the results of the end-user request to the client EPG browser application.
§ Step 5: Results are received, rendered, and the EPG page is layed out on the TV display for use by the end user.
4). Steps of the ESG manager (EPG Application Server) flow can be summarized as:
1. The ESG manager gets the request message for retrieving program listing from the mobile client and fetches the user’s current cell id inside the message.
2. The ESG manger decides the user’s current conceptional location by comparing the current cell id with the user’s pre-stored cell id records in User Profile DB. Meanwhile, the ESG manger gets the user’s pre-stored genre preferences information as well.
3. The ESG manger infers the current situation according to current conceptional location and system time.
4. The ESG manager adjusts the genre preference value.
5. The ESG manager filters the recommended program listing based on filtering algorithm
The Filtering Algorithm is interpreted in the following two steps:
§ The first step is to calculate the score of each program in database according to the genre mapping between the content description and user preference.
§ The second step of the algorithm is to sort the programs by their scores in order to filter the desired recommendable programs.
5). Type of Metadata in IPTV system:
Types of metadata provided by IPTV system can include:
§ List of channels available for the various tiered packages
§ IPTV channel name
§ IPTV channel description
§ IPTV channel logo
§ IPTV channel provider
§ IPTV channel provider’s Web site
§ Program title
§ Program start and finish times
§ Program language options
§ Detailed description of program contents
§ Parental control details and rating standards
§ Content aspect ratios
§ An indicator of whether captions are available or not
§ A description of any embedded advertisements
§ Compression techniques used on both audio and video content
§ Prices and access conditions for different items of IPTV content
§ Scheduled distribution time for delivery across the IP broadband network
§ Description of protocols and mechanism used to deliver the content
§ Caching details
§ Preview duration for IP-VoD assets
§ Recording rights
§ Applicability of content to particular types of IPTVCDs
§ Viewing profiles of IPTV end-users
5.1). Existing Metadata Standards – DVB-SI:
§ Metadata is technically defined as “data about data”. Metadata can be considered as control and descriptive elements associated with media content or essence.
§ Adding metadata into broadcast stream will allow for delivery of personalized interactive service.
§ ETSI EN 300 468 standard for metadata defining Service Information (SI).
§ The Event Information Table (EIT) in DVB-SI can be utilized to supply program related information.
§ Basic information includes title, start time, duration and synopsis etc.
§ It also has the possibility to implement a two-level genre description list (the top level consisting of ten broad program categories - movie/drama, news/current affairs, show/game show etc. - within each of which there are from 7 to 18 sub-categories) by using “Content Descriptors”
§ EPG information is typically displayed as a table with the option to select more information on each program.
§ Radio EPGs offer more text-based displays of programme name, program description, genre, on-air or off air, Series. artist, album, and track title information.
5.2). Existing Metadata Standards - TV-Anytime:
§ TV-Anytime is an open standard containing a set of specifications defined by TV-Anytime Forum published as formal ETSI standard.
§ For metadata, TV-Anytime formally defines the audio-visual content.
§ It is also to be found in other DVB standards, as part of the OpenEPG initiative in the