HbbTV: a new perspective

January 15, 2014 11.02 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

ARD HbbTVHbbTV is no longer a European phenomenon, with interest growing strongly in other parts of the world, according to Dr Klaus Illgner-Fehns, MD, IRT and chairman of the HbbTV consortium.

However, speaking at the HbbTV Summit in Warsaw, he provided strong evidence of how developed it is in Germany.

Speaking generally, he also revealed that the target to publish the specification for HbbTV V2 is this year.

According to Illgner-Fehns, HbbTV is already established in a number of European countries including Germany, France, Spain and Benelux, with trials taking place is several others including Russia and Portugal.

Elsewhere, there is interest in the US and Brazil, many trials are taking place in China and regular services will start in Australia this year. In Germany, over 90% of the broadcast market supports it, there are over 70 apps on air and in 2013 90% of smart TVs had HbbTV and there were 5.5 million devices sold, with the connection rate of 70%.

All told, there are now 10 million devices with HbbTV equipment in the country.

A study by SevenOne Media (Sat 1, ProSieben and Kanal Eins) showed that the usage of unique HbbTV devices grew by 380% between November 2012 and November 2013.

HbbTV apps extend across a growing range of areas in Germany including gaming.

Second screen is meanwhile supported by a service operated by ARD.

The HbbTV consortium was established in 2010 and already has over 60 members.

Illgner-Fehns pointed out that the introduction of HbbTV 1.5 in 2012 was now making it possible for broadcasters to offer VOD services on a commercial basis.