German broadcasters, both private and public, have been quick to develop services for the new standard and ARD, ZDF, the RTL Group and ProSiebenSat.1 are now actively broadcasting HbbTV content on their respective channels. (See also Broadband TV News passim). The success of the connected TV system is even more remarkable given the fact that ETSI ratification is still pending, but this hasn’t stopped broadcasters and manufacturers backing HbbTV in a big way.
Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV or “HbbTV”, is a major new pan-European initiative aimed at harmonising the broadcast and broadband delivery of entertainment to the end consumer through connected TVs and set-top boxes. The HbbTV specification was developed by industry leaders to effectively manage the rapidly increasing amount of available content targeted at today’s end consumer. It is based on elements of existing standards and web technologies including OIPF (Open IPTV Forum), CEA, DVB and W3C.
HbbTV products and services will provide the consumer with a seamless entertainment experience with the combined richness of broadcast and broadband. This entertainment experience will be delivered with the simplicity of one remote control, on one screen and with the ease of use of television that we are used to. Through the adoption of HbbTV, consumers will be able to access new services from entertainment providers such as broadcasters, online providers and CE manufactures – including catch-up TV, video on demand (VoD), interactive advertising, personalisation, voting, games and social networking as well as programme-related services such as digital text and EPGs.