The ultimate goal of this project is to develop flexible/adaptive end-to-end architecture, based on semantic technologies, for personalised creation, distribution and consumption of TV content. The project will take a user-centric approach to investigate fundamental aspects of consumers' content-customisation needs, interaction requirements and entertainment wishes, which will shape the future of the "TV" in all its new forms. New technology is transforming the TV industry, according to Mark Thompson, BBC Director General, in the Observer. Watching TV more and more happens together with PC-related activities, e.g. chatting with friends, talking on the phone, searching on the Internet for related info about programs. Already in 2000, the trend was by "couch-and-mouse toys serving 27 million Americans who were able to watch TV and surf the Web at the same time - the "telewebbers". Nowadays, digital video-recording software provides the facility to "time-shift" live television programming through a PC (e.g. via TiVo and ReplayTV). Companies are attempting to bundle "an electronic program guide into its software, along with personal viewing agents that can recommend broadcasted programs based on your viewing habits" . For example, while watching "Dancing with the stars", you can vote for your favourite couple, read their biographies, find other programs this week where they appear, record your favourite dances and send them to friends; you can also join live chats during the program. However, "such interactive services stay TV-centric (in the device sense of the term TV) and use Internet and digital technology only to enhance the entertainment that you expect to see when you plop yourself down in front of the tube."

Hence, the core objectives of this project are targeted at putting the TV viewer back in the driver's seat by developing semantics-based and context aware tools and services for (1) personalized content selection, (2) packaging of content with additional information (e.g.relevant Web info on program subjects), and (3) social interaction in/consumer communities. With semantic-based we mean that we build on information integration and representation techniques developed within the Semantic Web area, enabling us to reason about related concepts in different information sources. Context-aware implies that the services are dependant on individual aspects of time, space, task and mood.

To realize this vision the NoTube project will deliver a service-oriented architecture with four corner stones: (1) novel deployment of existing methods for information integration in the combined TV-Internet environment; (2) extensions of existing user and context modeling techniques to meet the demands of the distributed world; (3) development of novel reasoning services for personalized content recommendation; and (4) integration of community-oriented software and social interaction tools, such as chat channels.

The work in the project is steered by three visionary use cases, namely:
  1. personalized semantic news;
  2. personalized TV guide with adaptive advertising;
  3. Internet TV in the Social Web
These use cases address different dimensions of personalized TV-content interaction, including individual viewers and communities of viewers as well as multi-lingual and multi-modal interaction. The work plan takes an iterative approach. In each cycle progressively complex demonstrators are developed. The driving force in each iteration is user-centred evaluation. The demonstrators are also critical for defining measurable success factors for this project.

In short, NoTube will be the first project to focus on TV content as a medium for personalized interaction between people based on a service architecture that caters for a variety of content metadata, delivery channels and rendering devices.