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BBC backs industry-wide adoption of HbbTV 2.0.1

The BBC has announced plans to move “beyond legacy MHEG technology” to industry-wide adoption of HbbTV 2.0.1.

The UK public broadcaster said it plans to adopt HbbTV 2.0.1 in time for equipment manufacturers to build HbbTV into 2018 product cycles and will remove the MHEG requirement from the ‘BBC Interactive HTML application’ specification.

It also said it will work with industry partners to align other specifications such as the DTG’s D-Book, the Freeview Play specification, and Trade Mark Licence framework managed by Digital UK and Freeview.

“The BBC, working in collaboration with Freeview, DUK and the DTG, intends to accelerate the adoption of international standards around interactive TV in the UK market,” the BBC said in a statement.

“Working in close consultation with manufacturers and other affected parties, a plan will be developed by the BBC, Freeview, Digital UK and the DTG by September 2016. It will then be shared publicly in relevant industry forums.”
The BBC said the plan will include the development and sharing of test applications to allow manufacturers to ensure correct behaviour of new HbbTV-based services. It claimed this addresses feedback received from manufacturers while balancing the needs of audiences to “drive the industry forwards and provide a better environment for UK free-to-air services”.

In a statement the DTG said it welcomes the BBC’s plan, with DTG CEO Richard Lindsay-Davies commenting that it is working on a plan with the BBC, Freeview, DUK and DTG Members to deliver a solution that “works for both the industry and consumers with their varied viewing preferences”.

“We are all supportive of a well-managed migration from MHEG to HbbTV and as the only mechanism that has successfully universally deployed, interoperable, interactive television services, the D-Book continues to lead the way forward in helping the industry deliver television to viewers.”

Tags: BBC, DTG, Freeview