Feeds

WTF is... HbbTV?

Net connectivity for your telly done properly

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Connected TV is all the rage. Every major brand has its own IPTV platform, such as Panasonic's VieraConnect or Samsung's Smart TV, offering a mix of catch-up services and additional content like movie trailers and YouTube access.

As it stands, content providers need to work with TV and set-top box makers to integrate their offerings with each manufacturer's IPTV UI. It's a costly business, and while a vendor will be eager to work with popular services, such as the BBC's iPlayer or Google's Picasa, it may be less keen to enable other, less well-known online content sources. That restricts the range of content available to TV owners.

HbbTV logo large

But moves to standardise IPTV are underway. In the UK, the YouView project is set to launch early in 2012. It will bring a common interface for catch-up and online video services, though there’s also some competition in the form of the new streaming services being launched on some of the data channels.

Look across the English Channel and the situation is slightly different. Many of the TVs launched at this year’s IFA consumer electronics show featured support for a technology called HbbTV. In the UK, HbbTV is going to be included in the next generation of Freesat boxes, due early 2012.

So what is HbbTV and why should you care about it?

The evolution of teletext

In the old analogue days, teletext services like Ceefax and Oracle were provided using the lines at the top of the picture transmitted during the "vertical blanking interval" (VBI).

The VBI is the time it takes a CRT's electron gun to move from the bottom right of the screen to the top left. During that time, the screen-lighting electron stream is turned off - hence the 'blanking'.

Ceefax, the BBC's Teletext service

Ceefax, the BBC's Teletext service
Source: Wikipedia

A British invention, teletext came to be widely used around Europe too. While the UK decided to make the move to digital TV with a new interactive system, MHEG 5, in many other countries that didn’t happen. Instead, the data for text services would be transmitted as part of the digital TV signal, not separately, and then inserted into the VBI by the set-top box or TV, allowing the decoders in sets to display it just like its analogue counterpart.

So, while the UK has the red button for interactive services, other countries still use teletext.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Reg man builds smart home rig, gains SUPREME CONTROL of DOMAIN – Pics
LightwaveRF and Arduino: Bright ideas for dim DIYers
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Apple patent LOCKS drivers out of their OWN PHONES
I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't let you text that
Microsoft signs Motorola to Android patent pact – no, not THAT Motorola
The part that Google never got will play ball with Redmond
Slip your finger in this ring and unlock your backdoor, phone, etc
Take a look at this new NFC jewellery – why, what were you thinking of?
Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!
Monochrome handset ushered in modern mobile gaming era
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.