DTVKit

Common Questions

Take a look at our FAQ's and if you don't find the answer please contact us

 

What are the challenges?

The traditional proprietary software model in the DVB industry is restricting future developments through:

  • Competition – companies are developing competing solutions in areas where there is no value add
  • Duplication – the same components are being developed and maintained by dozens of companies
  • Fragmentation – few of the internal or licensable components have enough market coverage to drive maturity quickly
  • Integration – the industry is spending vast amounts of resources integrating similar components time and time again
  • Negotiation – the proprietary licence agreements related to many of the components mean every small change requires a costly negotiation
  • Sub Optimization – different combinations of components are selected on price rather than quality for each project

 

What does this mean?

  • Semiconductor vendors are facing large software licensing and maintenance costs together with increased support costs due to fragmentation in the market.
  • TV/STB manufacturers carry either the costs of maintaining proprietary solutions or end up using multiple proprietary stacks which stretches engineering resource and slows innovation.
  • Operators end up being tied to a proprietary middleware or suffer from a lack of competition between STB vendors.
  • Software component vendors have declining royalty revenues due to tight margins throughout the chain.

What is the solution?

The availability of a ‘shared’ and ‘open’ set of software components covering the core requirements for a DVB based product have huge advantages for every player in the industry through:
  • Co-operating – not competing in places which don’t add value
  • Sharing – jointly developing and maintaining common components
  • Maturing – wider adoption of components drives maturity quicker
  • Innovating – more commonality will release effort for innovating in differentiating areas
  • Just Doing – letting the engineering community focus without being held up by commercial negotiation
  • Reusing – use the same components in every project

Who manages DTVKit?

The direction of DTVKit is shaped by the Governing Board comprising of sector representatives including founding members. The organisation is run by its members, for the benefit of its members and from this a strong community forms the successful running of DTVKit.

Why does DTVKit charge a Joining Fee?

DTVKit incurred a considerable amount of cost in securing and preparing Ocean Blue’s source code for release and in creating the necessary processes for the community to function successfully. There will be no future charges for software royalties. The Joining Fee is a one off charge that covers these costs and enabled a successful launch for DTVKit.

Why does DTVKit charge a Membership Fee?

DTVKit is a not-for profit legal entity independent of any commercial interest. However, the organisation incurs day-to-day running costs involving administration, maintenance, moderation, marketing etc. In order to maintain this, an annual membership fee is required.

How much are the fees?

The Annual Membership fees have been set to be in line with similar collaborative bodies within the industry. There are three levels of membership and the cost for membership and joining fees are detailed under 'How do I join?'

 

How does the licensing work?

Each member has the right to access, evaluate, run and modify the source code contained within the DTVKit community. Commercial “free to use” licences are provided by members who are Semiconductor vendors.

Semiconductor vendors are able to grant commercial licences to their customers as long as that semiconductor vendor supplying the core chipset in the TV/STB is itself a member. The Licence Agreement prevents Semiconductor vendors charging for software available from DTVKit.

Our chipset vendor is not a member – can we still join?

Yes you can still join as a Product Plus member which enables you to develop products based on any chipset vendor's solution. 

Is the code good quality?

Yes. The software components are based on more than a decade of continuous development from Ocean Blue Software and have been used in tens of millions of products worldwide, passing numerous test and certification cycles. The quality and scope of these components will continue to grow over time as the DTVKit community uses them more widely, contributing to the already mature software.

Will the code remain good quality?

Given the enormous costs of unreliable software once a product is released, maintaining the core quality of the code in the community is essential. A system of skilled contributors and modifiers were established by the Governing board. The community is self-managing, appointing and promoting candidates as appropriate. Ocean Blue Software ensured that sufficient resources were made available so that the roles were filled by people that have the knowledge and expertise about the solution from the outset. Overtime, these roles have been spread among the members. 

What is the test regime?

Each software component comes with its own test suite and members are encouraged to add tests to the relevant test suite when new features are added. 

How are releases planned?

The architecture and release planning is managed by the technical team and agreed by member representatives at the Technical Steering Committee meetings. This is with a view to maintaining the API interfaces as far as possible and only making major changes according to the DTVKit roadmap.

Is it compulsory to check-in source code changes?

No. There will be many situations where it is inappropriate and/or impossible to check-in the source code for changes. However, we believe that the key to the success of a thriving community is one where members remain active and contribute where possible and appropriate.  

How does DTVKit prevent proprietary code being checked-in?

Anyone wishing to contribute to the community is required to sign a Contributors agreement which ensures any code contributed to the community is made available on the same terms as the core. Any patches are reviewed by the contributors and reviewers to ensure that they are of good quality, fit the overall objectives of the community and are not proprietary.

What components are available from the community?

Ocean Blue Software has contributed its DVB PVR stack (S,S2, T, T2, C), MHEG engine, CI+ 1.3 stack, browser independent HbbTV 1.5 plugin, reference applications and PC simulator. These are designed to be used both as separate modules or as a whole system. Further components may be developed or added over time but this will be determined by the DTVKit roadmap. 

 

Add a Support Package to your Membership

At DTVKit we want your project to succeed so we are committed to offering our members exceptional support and guidance. Our partner network enables us to be able to provide you with support services including the integration of DTVKit into your current environment, porting DTVKit components, full product and compliance testing and developing new features which are not currently part of DTVKit, but are a requirement of an individual project.

Through our partner network, we offer extensive training to help members develop a comprehensive understanding of DTVKit. Training is usually provided onsite at our offices in Bristol, UK or at a customer site with prior agreement. Enquire today.