HbbTV goes second screen

May 22, 2014 09.47 Europe/London By Julian Clover

HbbTV Second ScreenA new second screen app for use with HbbTV will be up and running in Germany within the next few weeks. Public broadcaster ARD and its regional affiliates will use the Second Screen Framework developed by the Insitut für Rundfunktechnik (IRT).

Rather than use a dedicated app, HbbTV’s second screen will link to the main TV through the web browser of the mobile or tablet. On first sight of the new mobile icon the user takes a one-off snapshot of a QR code that gives them a unique url that can be run across their mobile devices.

HBB-QR CodeOnce installed the user can view EPG information, news, weather, travel, etc independent of or alongside the primary screen.

Between them the components offer JavaScript APIs enabling the application to establish a first connection, to start a web application on the second screen and to communicate through the cloud between the two running applications

According to the EBU, approximately 93% of the connected televisions for sale support HbbTV. In Spain RTVE now reaches more than 700,000 homes with its 90.000 hours of HbbTV offerings, which were soft launched just eight months ago. In Germany, where HbbTV services have been available already since 2009, the ZDF HbbTV platform now generates over 2.5 million views per day. 10 million HbbTV enabled televisions have already been sold in the country.