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Digital Television Requires Digital Identity

Liberty Alliance and TV-Anytime Forum Establish Initiative to Address Digital Identity Issues in Personalized Programming

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Las Vegas, Nev. (NAB 2004) – Today, two influential global standards bodies, the Liberty Alliance Project and TV-Anytime Forum, announced a joint initiative that could ultimately provide consumers with even more choice and control in broadcast programming. The initiative could also open new markets and lower costs for content holders, broadcasters, advertisers and equipment providers. The two organizations will work together to address the requirements for digital identity in the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) market, including issues of privacy, security and interoperability in TV-Anytime’s upcoming Phase 2 specifications.

Digital television, the Internet and the convergence of communication technologies have created an overabundance of programs and personalization options from which the average consumer can choose. The popularity of DVRs, devices that record, store and playback live television, have skyrocketed as a means to manage and automate viewing preferences.

According to industry analyst firm IDC, worldwide DVR shipments reached over 4 million in 2003, fueled by strong demand in the United States and Japan. IDC expects shipments to increase at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 50 percent over the next five years, reaching over 28 million global shipments by 2008.

While this has begun to produce more choice and convenience for consumers, it creates a number of technical challenges for both broadcasters and manufacturers. For example, the lack of a universal format means delivering content across various types of DVRs has become an expensive proposition. In addition, DVRs’ limited ability to network with other devices makes it difficult for consumers to fully realize the benefits inherent in the technology.

The TV-Anytime Forum was created in 1999 to develop a universal standard for DVRs. Now working with the Liberty Alliance, it will expand on existing work to address new content types, emerging technologies and ongoing issues such as privacy and security of viewer preferences.

“Since its inception, TV-Anytime has been serious about the rights management issues that will play a role in the DVR market and on-demand broadcasting," said Simon Parnall, Chair of TV-Anytime Forum and Director of Advanced Technologies in the TV Platforms Division at NDS. "This is where we see synergy with the Liberty Alliance and we look forward to seeing fruit in the liaison relationship between our two organizations."

TV-Anytime’s Phase 1 standard has already seen success. Since its delivery in 2003, it has become a mandatory technical standard by organizations such as the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and Japan’s Association of Radio Industries and Business (ARIB).

Phase 2 of the TV-Anytime standard will next address how additional types of multimedia content (games, enhanced TV, graphics, music files) can be transferred and stored throughout home networks. For this the standard will need to enable the secure management of content within and among compliant devices, as well as ensure the privacy and security of data associated with user identity and interaction.

Liberty Alliance, a consortium of 150 organizations around the globe, has been working to address these business and technical issues around identity management for over two years. Liberty Alliance and the TV-Anytime Forum mutually sought a liaison agreement to investigate how digital identity and Liberty’s Federated Identity Architecture could play a role in TV-Anytime’s Phase 2 standard.

“Privacy and security are two of the biggest issues around delivering any type of personalized service, ” said Michael Barrett, president of Liberty Alliance and vice president of privacy and security at American Express. “This is why our work has been so applicable to a cross-section of industries – from wireless to financial services to government. Working with an established organization like TV-Anytime will help ensure the television industry and consumers can easily reap the fruits of recent advances in digital identity management.”

Through the liaison agreement, Liberty Alliance and TV-Anytime will work together on business use cases and best practices for the industry, as well as address technical issues for scenarios such as permission-based sharing of viewer information, television commerce (t-commerce), compliant advertising distribution, and peer-to-peer transfer of personal content.

"NTT believes that broadband communication technologies will enable diversified digital television services with enhanced interactivity and personalization,” said Dr. Yuji Inoue, senior vice president and director, R&D strategy department at NTT. “We hope the collaboration between Liberty and TV-Anytime drives global standardization in this area, allowing our customers to enjoy personalized digital TV experiences in a secure and privacy-protected manner."

About Liberty Alliance Project
The Liberty Alliance Project (www.projectliberty.org) is an alliance of more than 150 companies, non-profit and government organizations from around the globe. The consortium is committed to developing an open standard for federated network identity that supports all current and emerging network devices. Federated identity offers businesses, governments, employees and consumers a more convenient and secure way to control identity information in today’s digital economy, and is a key component in driving the use of e-commerce, personalized data services, as well as web-based services. Membership is open to all commercial and non-commercial organizations.

About the TV-Anytime Forum
Formed in 1999, the TV-Anytime Forum (www.tv-anytime.org) is developing open specifications for interoperable and integrated systems that will allow consumer electronics manufacturers, content creators, telecommunications companies, broadcasters and other service providers to most effectively utilize high-volume digital storage in consumer devices. The group, which counts the BBC, Microsoft, NTT, Philips, Sony, Walt Disney Television and others among its membership, invites participation from all interested organizations.

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Contacts:

Michelle Swan
Ketchum PR for Liberty Alliance
+1 415 984 6170
michelle.swan@ketchum.com

Mark Saunders
Ketchum PR
+1 415 984 6192
tv-anytime@ntlworld.com