Hybrid delivery of Television; Integration of Broadcast and Broadband for Interactive Media

Rodrigo Borgia

Dr. Amal Punchihewa

Resumen de la conferencia/Conference Abstract

Traditional media delivery was a one-way communication scheme which predominantly relied on radio frequency based transmission. It provided little opportunities for interaction due to lack of an integrated return channel. With the increased penetration and advancements gained by the broadband, over the air delivery can make use of broadband as a return channel to interact with the media services. There are a number of technologies and standards available which offer hybrid or integrated broadband broadcast services. They complement the broadcast services.

Until recently, when media to be consumed via online services such as catch-up TV or video on demand, the user had to do it on a personal computer or laptop. Now, with a Connected TV it is possible to access content from the comfort of your living room and watch your favourite shows on the television.

In Asia-Pacific region, Australia and New Zealand have already introduced hybrid service known as Freeviewplus. Freeviewplus is a new hybrid television service which integrated with broadband in 2014 and 2015 respectively. A few more countries in Asia-Pacific are following a similar approach by introducing hybrid broadcast-broadband augmenting their DTT services. The hybrid broadcast-broadband platform is based on a technology engine known as HbbTV, whose specifications revised in early 2015. Malaysia is planning to use the HbbTV as hybrid engine for its digital terrestrial television broadcast service to be introduced during 2016.

This presentation will refresh and clarify the concepts such as IPTV, OTT, VoD and Internet TV. It will then highlight and provide an overview of technologies available for hybrid media services. The presentation will also explore numerous services that could be offered using broadband including over-the- top services that both new and incumbent broadcasters could offer.


Dr. Punchihewa is currently Director Technology at ABU. In that position, Amal drives innovation of media technology in the complete chain of media, starting from acquisition to consumption in the broadcasting industry. He influences the development of media technology in the best interest of ABU members. He leads a team of specialists, he facilitates technical guidelines and standards, and provides expertise related to the convergence of media, and evolving technical needs. He creates, encourages, and manages member communities, and understands and explains the trends that shape the media, to empower Members to continue to take good strategic decisions.

He ensures that the Department continues to be a vital and respected partner for its members and for the media industry. As a member of the ABU Headquarters Management Team, he also plays a major part in shaping ABU strategy.

Dr Punchihewa is active in many of the WBU-TC and ITU broadcast related technical activities. He is a vice chairman of the WBU-TC. He is an advisor to IET Vision and Imaging Professional Network having served as an executive of IET Vision and Imaging Professional Network.

He possess more than 29 years of experience in all three sectors of broadcasting; viz. Academia, Research and Industry in senior broadcasting technology and ICT roles, including research and developments, regional capacity building in media and head of engineering of national TV-Sri Lanka, having started career in computer engineering.

Amal graduated with BSc (Eng) Hons specialised in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering from Sri Lanka, MEng from Technical University of Eindhoven, Netherlands & PhD from Massey University in New Zealand. He has published over 100 scholarly articles (peer-refereed technical journal and conference articles) in various journals including IEEE and IET digital libraries and transactions. He has held visiting positions at Tokyo University of Science (Japan) as a visiting associate professor and visiting professor. He was a Royal Dutch fellow of Netherlands and JSPS of Japan. He has served on technical/programme committees, organizing committees and as track/session chairs for many international conferences. He advises on many International conferences including CCBN conference in China, BES in India and BCA in Singapore. Amal is a Senior member of IEEE, Chartered Professional Engineer-CEng, Fellow of IET (UK) & Fellow of IPENZ (New Zealand).

Viernes 17, 9:50hs Aula 521 Universidad Tecnológica Nacional – Facultad Regional Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Friday 17, 9:50hs. Classroom 521. Universidad Tecnológica Nacional – Facultad Regional Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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