Feeds

WTF is... HbbTV?

Net connectivity for your telly done properly

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Those who missed out on surround sound with the earliest Freeview HD boxes will be pleased to know that transcoding to AC3 (Dolby Digital) is also mandated by the HbbTV specification.

It’s worth noting that it’s possible for a single receiver to support both MHEG 5 and HbbTV, as will be the case for the next generation of Freesat boxes, for example.

HbbTV enabled services

HbbTV services from among the many rolled out on the Continent

So, rather than being revolutionary, HbbTV is a pulling together of existing standards to create a platform designed to be straightforward to implement, and to enable easy development of applications.

Compared to YouView

So, how does HbbTV compare to YouView? YouView is broader in scope, in that it’s a complete system with a consistent front end and a centralised EPG. It's intended to be built into branded boxes.

That has caused friction among UK content providers, some of whom feel they, not a consortium, should be free to define the UI that fronts their IPTV services.

As simply a building block, HbbTV makes that possible. There’s no central authority co-ordinating all the different things that individual channels do, to enforce a unified experience. It’s more like the way that both ITV and the BBC make their catch-up services available through Freesat’s red button: they use the same technology, but look different.

Whatever the final YouView UI looks like, it'll be a consortium-controlled experience

There’s another key difference too: HbbTV is already out there and in products you can buy now. Many broadcasters already have HbbTV applications deployed on both satellite and terrestrial services, particularly in Germany, where ARD, ZDF, RTL and even QVC have services, together with Franco-German arts channel Arte.

With other countries in Europe also deploying HbbTV, it’s likely to end up costing relatively little to include in sets as a matter of course.

For the UK, with YouView already delayed and initially targeting terrestrial users, using HbbTV means Freesat won’t be left behind when it comes to supporting the extra online features that all the major TV platforms will be pushing in their bid to keep viewers in front of the telly. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.