GlobeCast, FRANCE 24 expand HbbTV to Middle East With Arabsat, Orange

Editor | 20-09-2012

Bidding to boost the footprint of the interactive standard, GlobeCast and FRANCE 24 are to expand their Hybrid Broadband Broadcast Television (HbbTV) service to the Middle East.

With the support of Orange and Arabsat, the service will be offered to satellite viewers of FRANCE 24 in the Middle East beginning in the autumn of 2012, adding a layer of interactivity to satellite TV programming. This will be achieved by harnessing the capability of connected TVs, allowing satellite TV viewers in the region to use their connected televisions to interact withFRANCE 24's linear and non-linear content.

Both companies regard the rollout as a robust test of HbbTV's ability to enhance the quality of DTH users' viewing experience, and expect it to provide insight towards building broadcast offers that combine traditional broadcast delivery with the new possibilities offered by the latest content delivery networks (CDNs).

As part of the project GlobeCast will provide ground services and uplink from its Paris technical operations centre with the satellite feed will be delivered via the BADR-4 satellite, Arabsat's orbital position in the Middle East. Orange will use the CDN expertise of its Smart Networks Program to drive the broadband delivery of this service.

"FRANCE 24 is always concerned with the quality of experience of its viewers worldwide. HbbTV is one technology which appears to be a promising way to raise the bar for these viewers. Expanding our experiment to a second region, the Middle East, means that we'll have a reliable test to measure the benefits of HbbTV on a global level," commented Frank Melloul, Head of Strategy, Development, and Public Affairs at FRANCE 24.

Added Philippe Rouxel, Chief Marketing Officer of GlobeCast: "It's our pleasure to work with FRANCE 24 to take its content further, in every sense of the word. We have a long-standing relationship with Arabsat and of course our parent company Orange who are the ideal partners to help us bring the convenience of connected television to Middle Eastern viewers."