S4C Brings ITV to Wales

By Kevin Hilton

Welsh-language broadcaster S4C launched an interactive-TV system to give viewers access to sports scores, national and regional news, weather forecasts, and listings through the red button. This is the first multiplatform installation of Ensequence technology in the United Kingdom, and it works in conjunction with Strategy & Technology’s MHEG Presenter system to add interactivity to S4C’s Freeview DTT service.

S4C is Wales’ version of UK national commercial broadcaster Channel 4, and it broadcasts specially commissioned programming in Welsh alongside bilingual (Welsh/English) versions of C4’s programmes. The digital channel, S4C Digidol, transmits solely in the Welsh language. Sport is a major part of the channel’s output, with, as might be expected, rugby to the fore.

The new interactive service was designed using the Ensequence Create authoring program, with S&T’s MHEG Presenter used to make applications. This was done using its graphical layouts to work with data relating to broadcast and text material, all without the need to write MHEG code.

“By working with Ensequence and S&T, we are able to quickly and affordably update and manage our interactive TV content,” said Arshad Rasul, S4C’s director of broadcast and distribution. “The combination of Ensequence and S&T improves our editorial efficiency and supplements S4C’s editorial content while streamlining the content-management process.”

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