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 Friday, February 08, 2013

ITU headquarters in Geneva has hosted a showcase of ITU-standardized multimedia solutions targeting a better quality of life through innovations in high-definition content delivery, interactive entertainment, e-health services, and the accessibility of audiovisual media to persons with disabilities.

The demonstrations were given by prominent market players and research institutes for the benefit of delegates attending meetings of ITU-T Study 16 (Multimedia) and Study Group 9 (Broadband cable and TV); the expert groups responsible for IPTV and Smart Cable TV standardization, respectively.

IPTV demonstrations included ASTEM’s (Japan) remotely-provided subtitling and captioning solution for IPTV services; a mobile IPTV service from South Africa's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research; and selected applications from ITU’s 2nd IPTV Application Challenge: "A better quality of life".

The 2nd IPTV Application Challenge booth showcased an IPTV e-health application using Continua Health Alliance-compliant e-health devices integrated with ITU-T IPTV services, developed by the Institute for Infocomm Research (Singapore) and the NTT Service Integration Lab (Japan). The booth also featured an accessibility-oriented application from Chulalongkorn University (Thailand) designed to teach its user how to communicate using sign language.

Core ITU standards underlying the IPTV showcase included Recommendation ITU-T H.721’s IPTV terminal for Video on Demand (VoD) and Linear TV, and ITU-T H.762’s Lightweight Interactive Multimedia Environment (LIME) for IPTV services. The IPTV equipment was provided by OKI and Sumitomo Electric Networks.

On the Smart Cable TV front, KDDI demonstrated an implementation of Recommendation ITU-T J.296’s integrated broadcast cable set-top boxes. The demo highlighted advanced smart cable features to undergo future standardization – a project currently being discussed by ITU-T’s Focus Group on Smart Cable TV (FG SmartCable) which has approved an intensive action plan aimed at finalizing its deliverables by October 2013. The group has scheduled three physical meetings for 2013: in April, Cambridge (UK); June, Atlanta (USA); and September, Tokyo (Japan).

In addition, an ETRI demo gave experts a view of the enhanced quality of images compressed using a hardware implementation of the newly consented ITU-T H.265 | ISO/IEC 23008-2 high efficiency video coding (HEVC). HEVC is the successor to the Primetime Emmy award winning ITU-T H.264 video compression codec. The new standard ITU-T H.265 will need only half the bit rate of its predecessor and this doubling of compression efficiency will be essential to the provision of high-quality video in mobile applications and ultra-high definition TV (UHDTV).

ITU-T Study Group 16 and Study Group 9 are producing the standards required to drive widespread global adoption of innovative multimedia solutions such as IPTV and Smart Cable TV. Global standards will lower the costs of these services for vendors and consumers, avoiding costly ‘format wars’ and enabling rollouts of the technology to a scale not achievable with proprietary solutions.

For more on ITU-T’s work on Smart Cable TV, please see ITU-T’s Focus Group on Smart Cable TV.

For more on ITU-T’s work on IPTV, please see ITU’s IPTV Global Standards Initiative.

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Friday, February 08, 2013 4:13:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Please note that a single sign-on ability has been introduced in the A5 justification submission in the work programme site.

This new release will enable a better user-experience for our members while using the work programme:

Only a single TIES login is now required to browse within the site.

Friday, February 08, 2013 2:24:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 05, 2013

An upcoming workshop on the Fully Networked Car, the eighth event in the series, will host an international selection of experts to discuss the latest developments in the intelligent transport space with a view to building consensus on the best path towards global standards for a safer, cleaner and far more connected driving experience. Responding to rapid progression in the sophistication of intelligent transport systems (ITS), the workshop’s discussions will conclude by setting the standardization agenda and industry priorities for the coming year.
 
Organized by IEC, ISO and ITU under the banner of the World Standards Cooperation, the “Fully Networked Car 2013 – The Future of Vehicles” is being held 6 March 2013 at Palexpo in Geneva. It will take place within the Geneva International Motor Show. With 6 March being the final press day of the Motor Show, workshop participants will gain exclusive insight into car manufacturers’ latest products as well as their visions of what consumers can expect in the future.
 
Fully Networked Car 2013 will be moderated for the second consecutive year by Richard Parry-Jones, a former executive at Ford Motor Company, and it will analyze developments in the automotive sphere with a particular focus on the ICT standardization needed to support recent advances in automotive ICTs. The workshop will assemble industry-leading minds from both the automotive and ICT communities; moving towards better collaboration by these industry sectors and thus more efficient development and adoption of the global standards needed to drive large-scale rollouts of ITS.
 
So-called “cooperative ITS” – in which vehicles communicate with each other and with the infrastructure around them – has the potential to enable more efficient traffic management, less congestion, fewer accidents and lower volumes of greenhouse gas emissions. Standards for cooperative ITS will thus be a central topic at March’s workshop, as will energy efficiency and standardization work concerning electric vehicles and smart grids.
 
Other key topics will be standardization to minimize driver distraction and enhance vehicle safety as the use and inclusion of ICTs in automobiles increases, as will comparisons of the tremendously different ITS challenges and opportunities encountered by developing and developed countries.
 
Registration to attend the event closes 22 February 2013.
 
More information is available here…
 
To drive the creation of an internationally accepted, globally harmonized set of ITS communication standards, ITU and other organizations with ITS activities have established an open collaboration group that next meets 21-22 March 2013 in Beijing, China.


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Tuesday, February 05, 2013 10:18:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 01, 2013

The submission deadline for the 3rd Green ICT Application Challenge has been extended from 30 April to 30 June 2013. The Challenge has also welcomed new supporters in the United Nations University (UNU), Solving the e-Waste Problem (StEP) and BlueVia.
 
Organized by ITU in partnership with Telefónica, the Challenge will award a prize of 5,000 USD to the creator of the app that best promotes Smart Sustainable Cities and environmental sustainability in urban areas.
 
Developers can submit concepts individually or as part of a team. Submissions must be original and should deal with one of the following subjects: transport and mobility; management of energy, water, health services or waste; adaptation to climate change; town planning, including smart buildings; and smart sustainable societies, community participation and environmental education.
 
The winner will be selected according to criteria including impact, scalability, the degree of innovation, feasibility, the quality of the implementation plan and the business model. In addition, priority will be given to applications that can help developing countries to solve environmental problems in an urban context.
 
The Challenge launched 20 December 2012. Full Press Release here

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Friday, February 01, 2013 12:06:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 31, 2013


Attendees of the fourth meeting of ITU’s Focus Group on Disaster Relief, Network Resilience and Recovery (FG-DR&NRR) will participate in a one-day technical tour of Sendai city, the area hardest hit by 2011’s Great East Japan Earthquake, visiting affected telecommunication installations and R&D sites specialized in the study of network resilience and recovery.

Organized by ITU-T and hosted by Japan’s Ministry of Internal affairs and Communications (MIC) and National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), the fourth meeting of FG-DR&NRR will take place in Tokyo, Japan, 5-8 February 2013.

The meeting is preceded by an ITU workshop on “e-Health services in low-resource settings: Requirements and ITU role”, 4-5 February 2013, at the same venue. FG-DR&NRR participants are encouraged to attend this workshop, and particularly the afternoon sessions on the 5th where e-health applications related to disaster relief will be on show.

ITU-T Focus Groups are tasked with initiating work on new standardization challenges as input to the ITU-T Study Groups. Focus groups have a great deal of flexibility to decide their structure and working methods and participation is free of charge and open to non-members of ITU.

FG-DR&NRR was established in January 2012 at a meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG). The group coordinates ITU-T’s current work in the disaster relief field, and is expanding this work into two important new areas: (1) disaster relief for individuals (to notify relatives, friends or employers of a victim’s situation) and (2) disaster relief guidance (to show victims the routes to evacuation shelters, home, etc.).

Read more on FG-DR&NRR and its upcoming meeting here

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Thursday, January 31, 2013 10:30:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 28, 2013

Successor to award-winning standard to unleash new innovation
Geneva, 25 January 2013 – A new video coding standard building on the PrimeTime Emmy award winning ITU-T H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC was agreed by ITU members today.

The new codec will considerably ease the burden on global networks where, by some estimates, video accounts for more than half of bandwidth use. The new standard, known informally as ‘High Efficiency Video Coding’ (HEVC) will need only half the bit rate of its predecessor, ITU-T H.264 / MPEG-4 Part 10 ‘Advanced Video Coding’ (AVC), which currently accounts for over 80 per cent of all web video. HEVC will unleash a new phase of innovation in video production spanning the whole ICT spectrum, from mobile devices through to Ultra-High Definition TV.

ITU-T’s Study Group 16 has agreed first-stage approval (consent) of the much-anticipated standard known formally as Recommendation ITU-T H.265 or ISO/IEC 23008-2. It is the product of collaboration between the ITU Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG).

Full Press release

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Monday, January 28, 2013 11:27:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |