News


HbbTV Association publishes ‘virtual STB’ app specification

The HbbTV Association has finalised and published its Operator Applications Specification, which is designed to let TV operators offer set-top box functionality direct from apps.

HbbTV-Op-ApsThe specification allows TV operators, in partnership with TV manufacturers, to provide an operator-branded experience as an application on TVs, essentially acting as a ‘virtual set-top box’.

The first OppApp trials are expected to take place in various countries in 2018. If adopted by TV operators, these apps have the potential to cut costs involved in developing and managing set-top boxes.

Built on HbbTV 2, operator applications (OpApps) can run immediately after the TV is turned on and function like any other TV source –  for instance a cable input or HDMI device.

The OpApps can be used with any type of network that is supported by a connected TV – including satellite, cable, terrestrial and IPTV – and the specification is designed to offer a foundation that many operators can use and many TV manufacturers can implement.

 “The HbbTV Association is pleased to publish the specification for OpApps, knowing that we will improve customer satisfaction and user experience,” said Klaus Illgner, chair of the HbbTV Association.

“The benefits will be realised across the board with manufacturers, broadcasters, operators and content producers, making the overall viewing experience more sophisticated and tailored to the consumer.

“The OpApp specification is a significant achievement with active participation across the entire value chain, resulting in a balanced specification that serves a well-understood market need with an experience that consumers will love.”

The specification details how operator applications are discovered, installed and how they can replace the TV’s native user interface, including access to the TV’s remote control keys.

The OpApps specification can be downloaded from the HbbTV website.