User Interface

User Interface

Cabot User Interface solutions are provided as a set of reference designs for a wide range of digital TV devices that both demonstrate and complement the full middleware functionality. These designs are provided in source code which enables easy corporate branding and differentiation. In addition, Cabot’s EASI interface allows for other third party UI frameworks to be supported, such as Tara or Flash.

A flexible and efficient C++ UI development environment

Cabot’s C++ UI solution includes Developer Observatory, which is a powerful Windows development environment enabling customised DVB software applications to be built, tested and simulated within previously unachievable timescales.  It contains several special features which offer a crucial advantage when speed to market is a high priority.  These include:

  • A totally comprehensive port of Cabot’s real DVB receiver software onto a PC environment, providing developers with the flexibility to design, build and modify UIs in extremely short periods of time
  • The ability to accurately simulate the video and On Screen Display (OSD) planes
  • The entire application can be developed within the Windows environment before final testing on the receiver hardware, thus significantly decreasing dependency on hardware platform availability
  • A remote control simulator so that real consumer interactions can be tested within a Windows environment which can be configured to represent the real remote control in all aspects
  • The ability to process recorded DVB MPEG Transport Streams (ISO 13818) at real-time speed from the PC hard disk
  • Simultaneous cross-country receiver testing capability through multiple stream support


Scalable Vector Graphics: UI development without engineering resource

In order to further accelerate the development of feature rich UIs, Cabot have developed a Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) processing tool, known as Designer Observatory, which provides the same business benefits as Developer Observatory but also includes additional advantageous features such as animated GIF support.  Furthermore, Designer Observatory enables UI’s to be created and modified by Graphical Designers instead of Software Engineers, effectively freeing up precious engineering resources and increasing the visual impact and perceived quality of the UI. 

Designer Observatory creates the ability to process and display esthetic graphical drawings defined by SVG instead of the traditional hard coded method which could only accept images.  SVG also enables the provision of new UI designs and their SVG definitions so that they can be easily integrated to applications with minimal time and effort.  In addition, Designer Observatory enables graphical designers to easily see how their design looks on the resultant application through Cabot’s dynamic SVG simulator which provides an instant UI visualisation. Standard Commercial graphical tools (such as Adobe Illustrator) can be used to support SVG development for complete flexibility in creating customised UI’s where the entire application can be developed within a PC environment without the need for the receiver hardware.

Future UI development

As part of Cabot’s continuous technological development roadmap, Cabot is currently exploring the development of 3D UIs which could be supported via any open standard such as Flash, OpenGL, OpenVG or MHEG.  A concept 3D UI demonstration can be made available on request.

For further information regarding this, or any other Cabot solution, please contact us.