As the EU funded R&D project LinkedTV began its work in October 2011, bringing together 12 European research and industry experts from 8 countries, its stated goal was the “seamless interlinking of TV and the Web”. Convergence of TV and the Web was at its beginning and the visionary group, led scientifically by Dr Lyndon Nixon, now Assistant Professor at the New Media Technology Group in MODUL University Vienna, foresaw a near term future where watching TV or browsing Web content would become essentially the same experience, with consumers moving between TV and Web content as easily as Web users were following hyperlinks to browse different Web pages back then. TV viewing as a passive experience would be perfectly complemented by the active browsing of additional information and content on the Web that it could trigger.
The group could not have anticipated how quickly and significantly technology in the market would shift in this direction, with increasing Internet bandwidth and device capabilities making TV/video streaming over Internet available to all, broadcasters launching TVoD and Catch-up TV services to their viewers and SmartTV sales meaning TV viewing in the living room now also had an Internet backchannel available. The utopian world of merged TV and Web seemed close; however TV programme viewers weren’t getting their information needs answered through Web-connected apps on their TVs, instead of having full screen Facebook on their TV they were looking for information on things in the TV shows, background to the news story, more examples of the art visible in the background of the scene – and are there paintings by that artist in the nearby museum?
Today’s TV viewers are multitaskers – they have a laptop, tablet or smartphone to hand while consuming TV on the big screen, and they turn to that second device to use the Web for additional information and content. However, companion applications are not well synchronised to this search – largely, their “knowledge” of what’s on is limited to identifying the programme and linking to social Web conversation around it or a list of cast members. What they don’t know, and today can’t know, is what is INSIDE the TV programme at the time the user is viewing it and could be interested in. So viewer’s real needs for Web and TV convergence are still not answered today – how to find out more about something you see in a TV programme if you don’t know what it’s called, for example?
LinkedTV has been working on the solution. By bringing together R&D experts across Europe who could provide the right tools to enable the envisioned interlinking of TV and the Web, we have produced a number of demonstrators where the experience of watching news – from the German broadcaster RBB – or a cultural heritage programme – the Dutch version of Antiques Roadshow from AVROTROS – is enhanced by additional information and content at the viewers fingertips – whether through remote control actions on a HbbTV-supporting SmartTV or through a Web application on their tablet or laptop. This information goes far beyond programme description or cast details like today’s offers – LinkedTV enables linking to information about concepts like persons, places and organisations inside the news story, links to background or related stories, or even browsing similar art objects in European collections while watching the discussion about another art object on screen.
“Years of collaboration, knowledge and technology transfer, implementation, prototyping and evaluation have brought us to this point, where we can offer an integrated set of services and software to content owners who would like to enrich their video with links to related information”, summarizes Dr Nixon, who initiated the LinkedTV idea following his PhD on multimedia enrichment in 2007 and acted as scientific coordinator of the LinkedTV project work, which finished in March 2015. “Trials with RBB and AVROTROS viewers have shown they appreciate the ability to easily access further information about what they see in the TV programme when they want. Viewers result in being more satisfied and engaged by the content. The broadcasters also stand to gain by offering LinkedTV enrichments as an added value service alongside selected content, as it can attract both new viewers and retain existing viewers, and promote their archived and long tail content with a new viewer experience.”
LinkedTV results – software, services, demos and reports – are published publicly at http://www.linkedtv.eu
LinkedTV products and demonstrators for media organisations are presented at http://showcase.linkedtv.eu
LinkedCulture demonstrator: https://vimeo.com/108891238
LinkedNews demonstrator: https://vimeo.com/119107849
Technology consultancy and proof of concept creation are possible. Organisations interested in LinkedTV enrichments for their content can contact Modul Technology GmbH c/o Lyndon Nixon.
42 months of R&D in an international EU-funded project covering media analysis, annotation, linking, personalisation and UIs, a software architecture for all of this on server and client side, and three distinct scenarios covering the domains of News, Cultural Heritage and Media Arts…. how to explain the results of all of this?
LinkedTV is pleased to publish publicly online its final project report which covers the technical outcomes of all the project workpackages covering all the scientific research areas mentioned above. In summarised form the reader can find out the main innovations and outputs in each topic achieved by the project partners, and of course to get at the technology itself, one can check out individual software and services (much open source) or the LinkedTV Showcase for enquiring about a commercial solution.
Given the increasing business interest in the LinkedTV technologies and the need to conform to industry standards, we are pleased to announce on behalf of the media analysis partner CERTH-ITI that the LinkedTV media analysis service, which has in the project output the results of all individual media analysis algorithms* in an aggregated format known as Exmaralda (EXB), will now additionally export analysis results in the EBU/ISO MPEG7 AVDP (Audio Visual Description Profile) result format. The LinkedTV Platform now also stores media analysis results in this format. More information about the MPEG7 AVDP format:
* The LinkedTV aggregated media analysis service, available for external use, covers shot and scene segmentation, concept detection, object re-detection, keyword extraction, ASR and face detection, according to client configuration.
We are pleased to announce an extended version of the LinkedTV tv2avd service (a.k.a. “Aggregated multimodal media analysis service”). This new version integrates software from our partner CERTH for video scene segmentation analysis which is applicable in any type of content, contrary to the developed chapter segmentation techniques which are strictly adapted to the analysis requirements of the LinkedTV scenarios (since they were based on algorithms that rely on the detection/re-detection of specific visual cues that appear in the AVROTROS and RBB content only).
In other words, the updated/extended version of the service contains the tools for providing a higher level temporal segmentation (than shots) of any video other than the material used in the project scenarios, since now the LinkedTV project is finished and new clients may wish to analyze other types of content (e.g. for demonstration purposes).
Don’t miss presentations of the innovations in video analysis achieved by our partner CERTH-ITI during the LinkedTV project!
The LinkedTV project is pleased to announce all of its public deliverables from 2014 are now online and available either as PDF download or viewing/sharing via SlideShare. These deliverables largely report the final research and technology outcomes of the project prior to their evaluations and exploitation. The scientific and professional community is invited to learn about the latest research and results around Linked Television:
and last but not least: