One of the many challenges people with various degrees of disabilities face (visually or hearing impaired) is their inability and difficulty to access mainstream products and services thus being excluded from enjoying audio-visual services on an equal basis as people without disabilities. Marginalising people with disabilities on this level is a critical and problematic issue, especially in today’s “Information Society”, where access to information should be freely available to all, in order for each individual to be able to reach his/her maximum potential, personally, professionally and socially. While these challenges have been identified, they have not been addressed yet efficiently since existing solutions still inherit characteristics of the analogue TV or just focus on traditional TV viewing.
The objective of EasyTV in the technical area is to create a component-based system able to improve the access, personalisation and interaction with content and information to people with disabilities (who can use multiple devices at this aim).
Given this, the architecture of the EasyTV component-based system gives shape to "accessibility as a ubiquitous service" by delivering "accessible" contents via different "terminals" such as HbbTV 1.5 and 2.0 compliant TVs, Desktop PC equipped with a browser and Android TVs.
Specifically, the EasyTV architecture comprises different components each of which plays a specific role in the production and delivery of "accessible" contents:
a multi-terminal technical platform which is a container for the deployment and the optimisation of the services needed to make broadcaster contents "accessible" to users with disabilities; it takes advantage of the models supported by the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (User agent based solutions, On-Demand Web Services, Proxy-based transcoding, Web-based user agents);
a range of platform-based service components whose implementation will capitalise results from HBB4ALL (subtitling, sign language second screen, Clean Audio / Audio description);
a service catalogue which is inspired to the Assistance on Demand infrastructure built up in Prosperity4All and allows a user to choose what perfectly fits his/her needs;
a service development kit which allows third-party developers / "external" software companies to include brand "new" services in the EasyTV multi-terminal technical platform;
local service components (service apps installable on smartphones/tablets or service client running in a TV box set) which allow the users to use the services running on the EasyTV multiterminal technical platform.