Sunday, June 15, 2008

BPN 1129 Public broadcast companies urged to use open standards

The Dutch public broadcast companies have been urged to support an open source media player by the political party SP. Presently the public broadcast companies support only the Windows Media Player. The political party thinks that this is in conflict with the Action plan Open Standards, which was adopted last autumn.

The public broadcast companies have a favourite item on internet, Uitzending Gemist (Did you miss this program). It has a lot of visitors who look at the missed programs in their own time. They are part of the long tail of the public broadcast service. The broadcast used to be available in Windows Media Player and in the Real media format. The public broadcast companies stopped offering the Real format, as too few users made use of it. The programs are also available in Linux, but these software programs have been produced by amateurs simulating Windows Media Player. Since February the public broadcast companies offer QuickTime as a media player.

The political party has objected to this policy as the public broadcast companies are financed by public money and should conform to the Action plan Open Standards, to which (semi-)government institutions are committed by law by 2011. The political party thinks that the public broadcast companies should not only offer commercial media players; they should also start developing open source programs.

The public broadcast companies have not reacted with a statement yet. They have a precursor in the BBC, which started to produce the open source BBC iPlayer, after 16.000 signed a petition for an open source format. Now the BBC iPlayer is also available in Linux format.

Last week the Dutch public broadcast companies launched a mobile platform in several formats. The mobile application is available for most modern devices and supports the following device platforms: Symbian, Windows Mobile, UIQ, J2ME (Java) and Blackberry. In the future the iPhone and Android will be supported.

Blog Posting Number: 1129

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