The Digital Interoperability Forum celebrated its 10 year anniversary on 27 November in Brussels. The evening kicked off with opening remarks by Sheila Cassells, Executive Director of DIF, followed by a presentation by Guy Bisson of IHS/Screen Digest looking at the evolution of the pay TV sector over the past 10 years.
There was a lively round-table discussion with representatives from DG Connect and Virgin Media, followed by a reception which included Ultra HD TV demos by Sky Deutchland, Pace and BSkyB.
To coincide with the event, DIF has published a white paper by veteran industry analyst Barry Flynn, which reviews the state of the debate on interoperability, a topic which is at the core of DIF´s remit.
The Digital Interoperability Forum (DIF) was set up in 2003 by companies involved in the pay TV delivery chain, that is: manufacturers, platform operators, software vendors and broadcasters in response to the Commission´s proposals at the time to mandate the DVB Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) standard. This came at a time when those industry members had already launched several million digital set top boxes and interactive services. Had MHP been mandated, millions of Euros of investment would have had to be written off. Ever since, DIF has lead the industry´s efforts to advocate for interoperability achieved by market lead solutions based on different APIs that support innovation, competition and consumer choice.
DIF continues to represent the pay TV sector on policy and legislative matters relating to the technology used for the distribution of paid content and interoperability. The main message of DIF is that with a plethora of devices being used to consume audiovisual content policymakers should recognise that fragmentation represents competition and consumer choice, not a lack of interoperability, and adopt a new starting point for policy analysis.