Widespread support for HbbTV By Robert Briel
May 6, 2010 06.15 UK
ANGA Cable 2010 – Cologne. There is widespread support among German language broadcasters for the HbbTV standard for connected TVs. Although technically speaking HbbTV is not yet a standard as ETSI ratification is still pending, this hasn’t prevented broadcasters from already launching applications.
During this year’s MIPTV it became clear that French broadcasters including Canal+ and TF1 are embracing HbbTV, and in Cologne HbbTV was everywhere. Although no official statement has been made, it is widely expected that a big consumer push by broadcasters and manufacturers will launch at this year’s IFA in Berlin.
Eutelsat Kabelkiosk showed an extended version of its Kabelkiosk portal offering a choice of VOD services, as well as the possibility for cable operators to launch their own local portal. “In addition to traditional content such as VoD and interactive services our network operators and channel partners are now able to offer hybrid television with Eutelsat, in order to offer new content and open up new revenue sources. This results in a win-win situation for all stakeholders. Kabelkiosk once again confirms its role as a key driver for new services and the digitisation of the cable, ” said Martina Rutenbeck, MD of Eutelsat visAvision in a statement.
At the IRT, the technical institute of the German public broadcasters, current applications running on both ARD and ZDF were shown, as were new ones for the ARD radio stations showing enhanced information with running radio programmes. This includes information about presenters, studio web cams, additional information about news and subjects covered, as well as live information about the music played.
At the eventIS booth, the Austrian firm Infonova showed an integrated HbbTV service delivery, subscriber management, billing and customer care solution. The system, here running on a Humax box, includes such features as viewer registration for VOD as well as billing for S-VOD and T-VOD. The demo was running on two channels, one designed for public broadcasters and one for commercial broadcasters. “This is the first showcase of its kind,” said Infonova’s Werner de Buigné.
A number of TV sets around the show are running HbbTV applications, not only from the public channels, but from both the RTL Group and ProSiebenSat.1, who are both committed to the new connected TV standard. Austrian public broadcaster ORF is also expected to officially announce HbbTV services before the end of the year.
By contrast, the German TV Platform is showing three proprietry Connected TV solutions, Net TV from Philips, [email protected]
from Samsung and Panasonic’s Viera Cast.