HbbTV makes smart move with Intellect to launch hybrid standards trial

Joseph O'Halloran | 10-07-2012

With hybrid video services about to be marketed to the masses in the UK, Intellect, the country’s high technology sector body, has launched its preferred way to align the UK with the HbbTV hybrid standard.
The aim of such an alliance, says Intellect, is to enable the de facto emerging hybrid TV standard in Europe to work seamlessly alongside the UK’s Freeview HD platform. To that end it has released a specification enabling deployed HbbTV capability on devices, within the UK DTT system; a test stream made available and hosted by Intellect; and the beginning of a process of consultation and discussion with broadcasters and other stakeholders.

“Harmonisation with the EU offers more choice to UK consumers. It brings the ability to connect and stream additional channels and applications from across Europe, whether Eurovision or local news from a potential holiday destination,” explained William Higham, director at Intellect. “Moving towards TV without borders also gives huge scale advantages to UK content-makers and technology companies, in short the UK’s vital creative industries. Today is part of a discussion with UK stakeholders about how the UK can be a leading part of the European television market again.”
Looking forward, Higham expressed optimism of there potentially being millions of connected devices in the UK’s home that could activate their HbbTV potential in the near future. He expressed a desire that the new leadership team at the BBC make it a priority to ensure the UK is the leading market in Europe for innovation in horizontal platforms, just as it was through the period of switchover.