Technology and broadcast groups team up to develop HbbTV

A consortium of broadcasters and technology companies including French broadcasters Canal Plus, France Télévisions and TF1, Germany’s Institut für Rundunktechnik, satellite operator SES Astra, UK-based IPTV technology company ANT and US-based technology provider Open TV have formally teamed up to launch and develop a specification to harmonise the delivery of content via the internet to connected TVs and set-top boxes.

The initiative, called Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV), plans to use existing standards and web technologies including those developed by the Open IPTV Forum, CEA, DVB and W3C groups. The specification will be designed to provide services including catch-up TV, video-on-demand, interactive advertising, social networking and digital text and EPGs. Satellite-based HbbTV products were initially demonstrated at the IFA and IBC trade shows last year. HbbTV connected TVs and set-tops will be on show at IFA in Berlin this year, demonstrating applications for broadcasters including ARD and ZDF. In France the HD Forum is working with government agencies including audiovisual regulator the CSA to develop interactive services for the digital-terrestrial platform.