SBS to launch HbbTV in the Netherlands
12.36 Europe/London, February 7, 2012 By Robert Briel

Dutch private broadcaster SBS has announced it will start to offer HbbTV services from Q2 2012. Public broadcaster NPO and RTL will follow suit.

SBS is the first Dutch broadcaster to deploy HbbTV in the country. All major Dutch broadcaster are now aligning by choosing HbbTV as their standard for hybrid connectivity. Announcements by RTL and NPO are expected any moment. Last year, NPO carried out some pilot projects using HbbTV.

The SBS announcement was made during a conference on Connected TV in Hilversum.

Dutch-based Divitel, an independent system integrator for professional media solutions, will deliver the HbbTV system to SBS Broadcasting. It is the first production play-out system that goes live in the Netherlands and thus fits into the strategy of SBS to use HbbTV as the standard for hybrid solutions.

The broadcaster has asked Divitel to reflect on the growth path, and for thinking how to evolve this new technology standard. HbbTV is in fact a new technology-in-progress which is also used in Germany, France and Spain.

Josbert van Rooijen, manager Broadcast & IT at SBS, in a statement: “HbbTV is the standardization for applications on ConnectedTv’s and other hybrid devices. Together with all market players we strive to get HbbTV widely introduced. Divitel has an extremely widespread knowledge of the European cable and broadcast market and thus a good sparring partner for SBS to think about this development.”

In a related development, the iMMovator Cross Media Network has launched the HbbTV Forum Nederland with founding members NPO, RTL en SBS, LG, Philips, Samsung, Sharp and Sony. Egon Verharen, manager of R & D at NPO said: ”Internationally HbbTV is already in some European countries such as Germany and France available. If we want HbbTV to be available in the Netherlands, it is best to roll this out collectively. “