Europe's HbbTV Standard to Hit Australian Shores

written by: Richard Kastelein

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hbbtvlogonewSeven Network is working on plans to deliver an ad-free subscription TV service via the Internet using HbbTV according to recent press in Australia.

And it's not just the Seven Network, Australia's Freeview has officially selected HbbTV and it's already written in its technical specifications - which is a major win for HbbTV and it's aspirations to go global.

Freeview is the free digital television service in Australia. It comprises all the channels from Australia's free-to-view broadcasters, including the ABC, SBS, Seven Network, Nine Network, Network ten, PRIME7, WIN and Southern Cross.


AdNews in Australia reports:

Seven Network chief executive Tim Worner announced the company would launch the service next year. He said: “Australians love TV and internet services, we're famous early adopters. For so long the conversation has been about the internet versus television. [HbbTV] is the best of both worlds. It's the future of Australian TV.”

even's HbbTV service will work through connected TV sets and allow viewers to stream live TV, watch catch-up or pay-per-view on their terms. Viewers will  be able to pay for an ad-free option or pay to see advance episodes of some programs before its broadcast.

Additionally, HbbTV should offer advertisers more tools such as data and sponsored recommendations. In a presentation video, Seven gave an example of viewers being able to buy products featured in a program through the platform. Because an individual's viewing habits is trackable, recommendations of other programs, or potentially products, can be made based on audience profiles.

Worner added: “Imagine being able to conduct a conversation with each one of them, a two-way conversation which ends in the ultimate pay-off, a sale.”

C21 also covered the story:

“Hbb extends our ability to deliver services to the main screen beyond our broadcast spectrum,” a spokesman told C21. “The extra content may be catch-up content, it may be returning to the start of a programme if viewers have tuned in after the start time, it may be pay-per-view or it may be a live stream if we think that form of delivery makes sense.”

Network Ten is not ready to reveal its HbbTV strategy, but a spokesman said: “We have been working on a range of plans, some alone and some in conjunction with other players. We are well across HbbTV development.”

HbbTV is an industry standard, backed by the EBU and used by slew of partners globally, brings together broadcast TV, IPTV and broadband delivery of entertainment through internet-connected TVs and set-top boxes. It also creates opportunities for interactive advertising, enabling viewers to buy goods they see within programmes or ads, as well as voting, games and social networking.

Plans for second screen engagement platform on tablet, smartphone and internet devices are allegedly in the pipeline.

About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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