TV Control Working Group Charter

The mission of the TV Control Working Group is to provide methods that enable a Web page to browse and control channel-based audio and video sources such as a TV or a radio tuner.

Join the TV Control Working Group.

Start date 14 April 2016
End date 15 May 2017
Chairs Chris Needham
Team Contacts François Daoust (0.1 FTE)
Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: Topic-specific calls may be held
Face-to-face: we will meet during the W3C's annual Technical Plenary week; additional face-to-face meetings may be scheduled by consent of the participants (up to 2 per year)


The scope of this Working Group is to define an API layer that is agnostic of any underlying audio/video sourcing technologies to enable a web-based application to:

The API layer will meet the usual requirements of the Web runtime, including privacy and security requirements. Specifically, the user must always be in control of privacy-sensitive information that may be conveyed through the APIs, such as the rendering of tuner output, channel configurations, and program recordings. Providing API access to audio/video media and metadata from broadcast and IPTV sources also presents potential security and privacy concerns that must be addressed. In addition, the user must be able to browse Web content, including any tuner functionality related to TV/radio services provided by third parties, in a secure way. The Working Group will take into consideration any necessary access restrictions, requirements for user authorization, and web application origins.

Users making use of assistive technologies or custom user agent settings must also be able to gain information and control actions via the API.

The API layer will be defined with appropriate abstraction model, and will address its relationship with broadcast protocols. TV tuners and radio tuners are in scope. Additional specification for purely IP-based audio/video sources and other audio/video sources (such as HDMI) will be considered based on the capabilities of those sources.

The Working Group expects to refine the technical solution based on discussions as it makes progress on its deliverables, including answering questions such as:

Out of Scope

The following features are out of scope, and will not be addressed by this working group:

  • the underlying video sourcing method and technologies;
  • the presentation technology and/or presentation application of TV program and supplemental content;
  • profiling of the specification to particular device limitations (such as number of simultaneous streams viewable)

Success Criteria

In order to advance to Proposed Recommendation, each specification is expected to have at least two independent implementations of each of feature defined in the specification.

Each specification should contain a section detailing any known security or privacy implications for implementers, Web authors, and end users.


Draft state indicates the state of the deliverable at the time of the charter approval. Expected completion indicates when the deliverable is projected to become a Recommendation.

Normative Specifications

The working group will deliver the following W3C normative specifications:

TV Control API

This specification will define the API described in the Scope section. The initial version of this document will be copied from the TV Control API W3C Community Group Final Report produced by the TV Control API Community Group. Further modifications (if any) will be decided upon by this Working Group.

Draft state: Adopted from TV Control API Community Group

Expected completion: Q1 2017

The working group may decide to group the API functions in one or more specifications.

Other Deliverables

Other non-normative documents may be created such as:

  • Use case and requirement documents;
  • Test suite and implementation report for the specification;
  • Primer or Best Practice documents to support web developers when designing applications.


Specification FPWD CR PR Rec
TV Control API Q2 2016 Q3 2016 Q1 2017 Q1 2017

Note: The actual production of some of the deliverables may follow a different timeline. The group documents any schedule changes on the group home page.


For all specifications, this Working Group will seek horizontal review for accessibility, internationalization, performance, privacy, and security with the relevant Working or Interest Groups, and with the TAG. Invitation for review must be issued during each major standards-track document transition, including FPWD and CR, and should be issued when major changes occur in a specification. Given the expected milestones, this Working Group will pay particular attention to coordinate with the relevant horizontal Groups early on, and ensure that these Groups be given sufficient time to perform reviews and resolve resulting issues with this Working Group.

Additional technical coordination with the following Groups will be made, per the W3C Process Document:

W3C Groups

Accessible Platform Architectures (APA) Working Group
The TV Control Working Group will liaise with the APA Working Group to identify and address potential accessibility issues on the level of UI, APIs, and assistive technologies.
Automotive and Web Platform Business Group
The Automotive and Web Platform Business Group discusses radio use cases through its Media Tuner Task Force. This Working Group will interact with that Task Force to discuss possible requirements on the TV Control API.
Device APIs Working Group and Web Real-Time Communication Working Group
The Device APIs Working Group and the Web Real-Time Communication Working Group jointly develop the Media Capture and Streams and the MediaStream Recording specifications. This Working Group may need to extend the MediaStream to add a buffering mechanism that supports basic seekability and will interact with these groups on that topic.
HTML Media Extensions Working Group
The HTML Media Extensions Working Group develops extensions to the HTMLMediaElement interface. The buffering mechanism that this Working Group may add to MediaStream will change the restrictions on the behavior and attribute values of the associated HTMLMediaElement. This Working Group will liaise with the HTML Media Extensions Working Group on that topic. Community Group
The Community Group discusses schemas for structured data on the Internet. includes a vocabulary to describe TV/Radio shows. This Working Group will liaise with the Community Group to align the Electronic Program Guide (EPG) and other metadata semantics used in the TV Control API with, where possible.
Web and TV Interest Group
The Web and TV IG handles liaisons with a number of external organizations that define or reference interactive TV platforms. This Working Group will use the Web and TV IG as coordination point to interact with these external organizations, in particular to discuss specific requirements on the TV Control API that these external organizations may raise.

External Organizations

This Working Group will liaise with most external organizations that are relevant to TV through the Web and TV Interest Group. However, it may maintain communications with external organizations that define underlying broadcast protocols as well as those that could reference the TV Control API specification to discuss requirements, including:

The Association of Radio Industries and Businesses is aimed to conduct investigation, research & development and consultation of utilization of radio waves from the view of developing radio industries, and to promote realization and popularization of new radio systems in the field of telecommunications and broadcasting.
The Advanced Television Systems Committee provides standards for digital television transmission over terrestrial, cable, and satellite networks.
DVB Project
The Digital Video Broadcasting Project is an industry-led consortium of broadcasters, manufacturers, telecomm companies, cable operators, software developers, regulatory bodies and others in over 35 countries committed to designing open technical standards for the global delivery of digital television and data services.
The European Telecommunications Standards Institute produces globally-applicable standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), including fixed, mobile, radio, converged, broadcast and internet technologies.
HbbTV Association
The HbbTV consortium is a pan‐European initiative founded by both television broadcasters and CE companies and is aimed at providing an alternative to proprietary technologies and delivering an open platform for broadcasters to deliver value added on‐demand services to the end consumer.
IPTV Forum Japan was established to promote the standardization of IPTV receivers and services and also promote the wide use and enhancement of defined standards. It aims to achieve this by standardizing technical specifications that provide current and future receivers with IPTV capability and thereby allow broadcasting and telecommunication to coexist.


To be successful, this Working Group is expected to have 6 or more active participants for its duration, including representatives from the key implementors of this specification, and active Editors and Test Leads for each specification. The Chairs, specification Editors, and Test Leads are expected to contribute half of a day per week towards the Working Group. There is no minimum requirement for other Participants.

The group encourages questions, comments and issues on its public mailing lists and document repositories, as described in Communication.

The group also welcomes non-Members to contribute technical submissions for consideration, with the agreement from each participant to Royalty-Free licensing of those submissions under the W3C Patent Policy.


Technical discussions for this Working Group are conducted in public. Meeting minutes from teleconference and face-to-face meetings will be archived for public review, and technical discussions and issue tracking will be conducted in a manner that can be both read and written to by the general public. Working Drafts and Editor's Drafts of specifications will be developed on a public repository, and may permit direct public contribution requests.

Information about the group (including details about deliverables, issues, actions, status, participants, and meetings) will be available from the TV Control Working Group home page.

Most TV Control Working Group teleconferences will focus on discussion of particular specifications, and will be conducted on an as-needed basis.

This group primarily conducts its technical work on the public mailing list (archive). The public is invited to post messages to this list.

The group may use a Member-confidential mailing list for administrative purposes and, at the discretion of the Chairs and members of the group, for member-only discussions in special cases when a participant requests such a discussion.

Decision Policy

This group will seek to make decisions through consensus and due process, per the W3C Process Document (section 3.3). Typically, an editor or other participant makes an initial proposal, which is then refined in discussion with members of the group and other reviewers, and consensus emerges with little formal voting being required.

However, if a decision is necessary for timely progress, but consensus is not achieved after careful consideration of the range of views presented, the Chairs may call for a group vote, and record a decision along with any objections.

To afford asynchronous decisions and organizational deliberation, any resolution (including publication decisions) taken in a face-to-face meeting or teleconference will be considered provisional. A call for consensus (CfC) will be issued for all resolutions (for example, via email and/or web-based survey), with a response period from one week to 10 working days, depending on the chair's evaluation of the group consensus on the issue. If no objections are raised on the mailing list by the end of the response period, the resolution will be considered to have consensus as a resolution of the Working Group.

All decisions made by the group should be considered resolved unless and until new information becomes available, or unless reopened at the discretion of the Chairs or the Director.

This charter is written in accordance with the W3C Process Document (Section 3.4, Votes), and includes no voting procedures beyond what the Process Document requires.

Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis. For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.


This Working Group will use the W3C Software and Document license for all its deliverables.

About this Charter

This charter has been created according to section 5.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

This charter is a revision of the charter that was sent to the Advisory Committee, and takes into accounts comments received during the review to clarify that audio descriptions, permissions constraints, and alignment with vocabulary to describe EPGs are in scope of the Working Group in particular.

This charter was updated in place on 16 March 2017 to reflect 1.5 month extension, through 15 May 2017.