HbbTV standard moves forward

Iñaki Ferreras | 21-08-2012

The standard HbbTV on Interactive TV continues forward with the 1.5 version - the first version that supports adaptive streaming based on MPEG-Dash which protects the content with DRM technologies based on MPEG-CENC and provides access to seven days of information in the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG).

This is according to Cristina Garcés, executive at the Spanish technological company Optiva Media and one of the representatives of the Association of Interactive Television (AEDETI), speaking at a recent conference organized by IIR Institute, which examined the future of the new television, TV called Connected based on a payment model.

Work has already started on version 2.0 of the HbbTV. This new version allows integration with social networks, a second screen, synchronizing broadcast/broadband (audiovisual content for a broadband network) and advertising. Germany was the first country to start testing with this version. But not all of Europe has adopted that standard. For example, Italy uses the MHP. In France, the HbbTV will be officially launched next month. The European Broadcasting Union, EBU, is promoting HbbTV, offering free applications to its partners, which were launched in the Eurovision Song Contest and the Olympics.

With regards to second screens, 80% of respondents to a recent survey said they use a mobile device while watching TV, 72% use social networking platforms like Twitter and 60%use the second screen to perform an activity related to the television programme in question.

In Spain there are still only a few HbbTV applications: TVE, Mediaset, Abertis Telecom and laSexta.

As for the type of applications that allow HbbTV, the executive mentioned the following: catch-up TV, VOD, EPG and banners, radio and music, news, banners access to applications, content and contextual HbbTV TV news.

In this sense, the best example is the BBC iPlayer. The use of this device grew 14% via PCs, 580% on tablets and 1,000% on connected TVs.

“With HbbTV applications, only work ensures non-intrusive results,” says Cristina Garcés, “Although the BBC’s iPlayer uses the HbbTV, it works with the red button, that is, at the touch of a button, you can access all applications the system allows.”

This is breakthrough that, for instance, the Americans are taking advantage of, not on the HbbTV standard side, but on audiovisual content through social networks and the mobile devices.