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Robert Briel from Broadband TV writes that the Dutch public broadcasters are stepping up their efforts to launch new HbbTV services, despite the fact that major cablers Ziggo and UPC, as well as KPN IPTV, do not distribute the service.
At the moment, the three national Dutch channels are offering the catch-up TV service Uitzending Gemist looking back seven days, the EPG and live streams of the national radio stations. They are now adding a HbbTV app for the NOS newscasts, which offers additional videos on-demand.
For the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil, NOS will launch a special sports app, offering video replays of highlights and goals, statistics, and more information.
This summer, the broadcasters, under the NPO umbrella, will also offer the new premium VOD service NPO Plus using the HbbTV standard. The broadcaster also plan to launch virtual sign language for the hard of hearing
The article notes that HbbTV signals are carried by DTT platform Digitenne, DTH platform Canal Digital, Glashart Media and a number of smaller cable operators including Caiway and SKO Veendam. The NPO said it is still trying to convince major operators Ziggo and UPC to start distributing the HbbTV services to their subscribers.
However, this will not be an easy task, as Ziggo is using the red button for its Cloud TV services, while UPC’s Horizon service only has a red button hidden on the back of its remote control. On the old UPC set-tops, using OpenTV, the red button is reserved for the cabler’s own interactive services. Also, KPN’s IPTV service Interactieve Televisie does not support HbbTV.