iTV gets first standard

The iTV Production Standards Initiative had its official coming-out party last week with the release of its first full specification, 1.0. The goal of the standard is to increase interactive television programming by standardizing content production.

Members of the organization include cable operators like Cablevision and Charter; content providers like Warner Bros., ESPN and NBC; and technology companies like Goldpocket Interactive (a major driver of the organization) and nCube.

"We've created a content specification that describes a common nomenclature for interactive content," says iTV Production Standards Initiative Chairman Martijn Lopes Cardoza. "

The hurdle faced by creators of interactive television content is a daunting one, especially if the content creator wants to distribute the content over multiple middleware and set-top platforms. Cardoza is hopeful that the new standard will help ease those creative pains.

The use of XML plays a big part in the standard. The specification lays out such elements as leader boards, trivia questions or polls and then the attributes that are used to create those elements (text, e-mail addresses, etc.). With the first spec released, the goal of the group is to drive adoption of the use of the XML mark-ups included in the spec.