Digital TV Labs open first official HbbTV test centre

Editor | 16-11-2012

The HbbTV Consortium has appointed UK-based Digital TV Labs as the first officially registered test centre for the hybrid broadcasting standard.

Digital TV Labs provides independent, specialised receiver conformance products and services and is licensed to certify compliance with the HbbTV 1.1.1 test suite for the HbbTV-enabled integrated digital TVs and set-top boxes being launched to support growing HbbTV services.

These services are being rolled out across the continent and beyond by the likes of GlobeCast and FRANCE 24 who have even expanded their HbbTV service to the Middle East.

However just like with the Euro, and ironically given the location of Digital TV Labs, Britain has steadfastly rejected HbbTV. Indeed, when on a panel at DigiWorld Summit 2012 debating content distribution in the cloud along with peers from France Télévisions and Octoshape, and pressed as to whether the broadcaster was investigating services based on the standard, BBC future media news & knowledge general manager Phil Fearnley gave the abrupt one-word answer of "no".

Undeterred by lack of BBC support, which hasn't stopped it working on projects based on the Freeview UK DTT service, Keith Potter, Digital TV Labs CEO, said: “We are very pleased to be the first registered HbbTV test centre. We believe HbbTV conformance testing is vital to ensure interoperability of this fast-growing hybrid technology that is being widely adopted by broadcasters. With our worldwide coverage of DVB and ISDB-T broadcast testing services including Freeview in the UK and now Dolby technologies, Digital TV Labs provides a unique one-stop shop testing service both in our UK and Hong Kong labs”.

Additionally, using the company’s HbbTV 1.5 test suite incorporating DASH support, compliance testing can be provided for the HbbTV requirements of UK D-Book 7B, and for the French TNT2.0 HbbTV platform. Digital TV Labs has been very closely involved with the development of the official HbbTV Test Suite against the v1.1.1 specification from within the HbbTV Consortium and has authored nearly half of its tests.

Digital TV Labs has also developed a family of products, Ligada iSuite, designd to provide comprehensive HbbTV conformance testing. Earlier in 2012 it announced full support for the official release of the HbbTV Test Suite via the Ligada iSuite test harness.