The Turkish public broadcaster TRT has started hybrid TV services employing HbbTV technology by Sofia Digital.

Known as TRT ARTI (“TRT Plus”), the services are available on its HD channels broadcast via Turksat, which covers Turkey and most European countries, and can be viewed on all HbbTV enabled DVB-S2 receivers.

TRT ARTI is available via a red button and offers wide variety of applications. They include a service menu, EPG, digital teletext and on-demand video services and will be expanded with others this year.

The hybrid platform has been developed by Sofia Digital with its local partner Yol Digital.

Commenting on the services, chief engineer Ruhi Tas, the project manager for the HbbTV project, said: “Sofia Backstage HbbTV platform has been working reliably and enabled deployment of completely new integrated services based on the TRT’s online interfaces.

“Since the launch TRT ARTI service has gain already more than 300.000 active users, which is a good number of connected TV viewers without any marketing efforts.”

Ari Pöyhtäri, CEO of Sofia Digital, added: “TRT HbbTV project is an excellent case showing how broadcasters can bring new digital applications and Internet video services to regular TV channels without massive new investments, utilizing the deployed connected TV receivers already out in the market.”

Mehmet Can Hakli, HbbTV product manager of Yol Digital, continued “Turkish TV viewers are avid followers of new media services which helps media companies to take bold steps to adopt new technologies. Usage statistics show that HbbTV enabled devices are well spread in the market and TV users are very comfortable to adapt to the HbbTV technology. TRT ARTI project is first-to-market in Turkey and its success will inspire new stakeholders and markets to adopt HbbTV services.”