Copyright © 2013 the Contributors to the Towards a Smarter Combination of Broadcasting and the Web Note, published by the Web and Broadcasting Business Group under the W3C Community Contributor License Agreement (CLA). A human-readable summary is available.
The aim of this document is to clarify fundamental value propositions that core information media in a region or a community must have, as both Broadcasting and the Web are these days essential building blocks of this core information media.
The contributors introduce two new viewpoints that the discussion on 'Web and TV' has missed so far: one is from the viewpoint of 'Broadcasting and the Web'; that is, how to combine the two largest information spaces on the planet synergistically with higher capabilities of delivering video and audio content. The other is from the viewpoint of the necessity of higher-level requirements such as the needs of society over and above the let-the-market-decide way of thinking.
We, the contributors, are mainly Japanese broadcasters. However, we are trying to establish global value propositions by taking into account the diversity of core information media in different regions and communities.
The fundamental value propositions of combining core information media from Broadcasting and the Web, in a nutshell, are:
The contributors hope that this document will stimulate discussion and build a better understanding on this subject among stakeholders.
This note was published by the Web and Broadcasting Business Group. It is not a W3C Standard nor is it on the W3C Standards Track. Please note that under the W3C Community Contributor License Agreement (CLA) there is a limited opt-out and other conditions apply. Learn more about W3C Community and Business Groups.
Core Information Service is a universal service for a region or a community that disseminates both essential information for daily life and vital information before, during and after regional crises to help maintain the safety and security of the region or community in the event of man-made and natural disasters.
Core Information Media is a holistic entity, or a complete information system that creates the core information service in a region or a community. The core information medium consists of numerous entities: ex. radio waves, telecommunications, optical disks, web servers, television stations, news editors and reporters. How these entities are actually combined differs by how core information media is implemented. However, all implementations have the same two-layer, large-scale structure. The upper layer consists of activities performed by humans such as information gathering, creation, selection, edition, etc. It also includes the activities of news agencies, collective-intelligence curators, and public-opinion influencers. The lower layer includes activities performed by computers and machines with the objective of not only distributing information but also helping people work effectively and efficiently. Of course the boundary between the upper layer and the lower layer is blurring as technology advances.
Broadcasting is a method of distributing content via mass-communication infrastructure using radio waves to a dispersed audience; in which the transmissions are intended for direct reception by the general public.
Broadcasting Media is a type of core information media that uses broadcasting as its foundation. In many countries, broadcasters have taken the responsibility to build, maintain and develop broadcasting media under the law prescribed in each country.
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide. It is a network of networks from local to global in scope consisting of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks that are connected by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies.
Connected TV, Hybrid Broadcast and Broadband, and Hybrid TV have been key words among various stakeholders in related industries for the past three years. W3C's Web and TV activities have been in the spotlight and have become a gravitational center in those discussions with the power and significance of HTML5.
W3C's Web and TV activities thus far have been very fruitful but we, the contributors of this document, would like to further enhance activity by framing a new discussion to achieve deliverable results.
The first viewpoint we would like to raise is 'Core Information Media using Both Broadcasting and the Web as Its Foundation', in short, 'Broadcasting and the Web'.
What Core Information Media can we build with 'Broadcasting and the Web' as its foundation? What standards are necessary to achieve that? How does the diversity of core information media over regions or communities fit into a single global standard with well-considered architecture? These are not issues from the viewpoint of 'Web and TV' but from the viewpoint of 'Broadcasting and the Web', and we have not discussed these topics thus far in W3C Web and TV activities.
It's obvious that broadcasting and the Internet are the two most important global infrastructures in delivering audio and video content today. While the Internet and the Web have already been fully integrated, broadcasting and the Web continues to suffer from poor integration. So the question is how do we design a better interface between broadcasting and the Web to create core information media using them.
The second viewpoint we would like to raise is the 'Fundamental Value Proposition of Core Information Media for a Region or a Community'.
When we consider the value propositions of market players regarding 'Web and TV', a suitable approach for them is to let the market decide. However, when you look at the value proposition of core information media in a region or a community, market forces may be applied in some ways but are insufficient in others. Core information service is a universal service and must cover at least 97% of a region or a community. Additionally, core information media should contain services for regional risks such as natural disasters and wars. However, making a service universal is costly and does not allow companies to maximize profits, and so decisions made by the market do not serve the long-term safety and security interests of a region or a community well.
As clearly stated in W3C's "Hyper Text Markup Language Version 5" working draft, HTML5 is biased towards HTTP as its transport protocol; and since HTTP is standardized as an internet application-layer protocol in IETF, it's clear HTML5 is biased towards the Internet as its transport layer and system. HTML5 is a document markup language, which means it is theoretically free of a tranport layer from a layered architecture point of view.
We, the contributors, are not dissatisfied with the bias. It has been relevant in the development of the history of the Web and will remain relevant in the development of standards going forward. Historically, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web on top of the existing Internet in 1989. Additionally, he published the specifications of both HTML and HTTP. In terms of developmental efficiency, assuming a specific protocol for adjacent layers is a good way to develop a standard while at the same time avoiding excessively abstract discussions on the standard.
Generally speaking, once a good standard has been developed by assuming specific protocols for adjacent layers, it is time to eliminate the bias and take into account other protocols to improve the standards. However, HTML5 and HTTP have been so strongly bound that eliminating the bias is counter productive. Nonetheless, reassessing the scope of the transport layer would help unleash the full potential of the Web.
Because broadcasting is currently the other large transport infrastructure, we should not ignore it, nor should we avoid it. We need to recognise that 'Broadcasting and the Web' is a key concept that both web and broadcasting people should always bear in mind when considering media. Therefore from the viewpoint of standardization, the two important objectives are, 1. HTML5 interfaces for broadcasting and, 2. broadcasting specifications for HTML5. Setting these two standards will lead to a smarter combination of Broadcasting and the Web that will, once again, help us unleash the full potential of the Web.
Throughout time, core information media as a universal service has been such an indispensable mechanism in communities and regions that each community and region created their own unique core information media using the most effective tools available to them based on their customs, culture, climate, and topography. This illustrates the diversity and pluralism of core information media while at the same time it shows the universality of the concept.
In more than a few countries, broadcasting has always been the key infrastructure of core information media. Broadcasters have always accepted the important social responsibility to create, maintain, and develop core information service, and to live up to essential legal obligations set by society. Therefore, we must take into account the importance of a broadcaster's existing role and function within a society when we design new core information media with 'Broadcasting and the Web'. However, we should in no way tamper with the vital role and function of broadcasting.
The first fundamental value proposition of core information media with Broadcasting and the Web is creating a sense of safety and security for viewers and users. How can we achieve this? In a nutshell, there are a four key elements that together form a sense of safety among people and help build a secure environment among viewers and users.
The second fundamental value proposition is the openness of services and the device market over core information media with Broadcasting and the Web.
Thanks to Tim Berners-Lee for inventing HTML, without which none of this would exist.