Open platforms for multimedia broadcasting
Mobile devices such as cell phones, smart phones, PDAs and portable media players are becoming ubiquitous. There is however a strong incentive for manufacturers to merge as many mobile functions as possible into well integrated devices considering the finite end-users' pocket “real-estate”. Today, mobile telecommunication organizations control most platforms that include “phoning” capabilities. It is thus quite challenging for non-telecommunication players, such as broadcasters, to offer on these devices often competing services which require specific chipsets and software.
Increasingly, the open source software approach is seen as an effective strategy to bring together all resources required to produce highly integrated devices. Recently, many efforts have been launched to design and integrate multi-function/multi-standard open hardware platforms “driven” by collaboratively developed open source software frameworks and applications. OpenMoko, Qtopia and Google's Android are currently the most active projects.
Considering the strong enthusiasm for physical layer mobile broadcasting technologies such as DVB-H, ATSC/MH, DAB/DMB and MediaFLO today, the Communications Research Centre Canada has initiated the Openmokast.org project. This project was launched to support the creation of independent broadcast-enabled handsets by studying the specific requirements for mobile multimedia broadcasting (MMB) applications in the context of the above mentioned open platforms and by integrating corresponding software building blocks into them.
As a basis for this work, CRC released the source code of an application called CRC-Openmokast that was developed for DAB/DMB receivers. This website provides information about this project. Other related software projects (transmission) can be found on the CRC mmbTools website.