Cross platform EU broadcasters band together

A consortium of European TV companies have formed a pan-European initiative which aims to standardize the broadcast and delivery of multiplatform content.

The Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV group or HbbTV, has the backing of broadcasters Canal+, France Televisions, and TF1, German research institute Institut fur Rundfunktechnik, satellite operator SES ASTRA, in addition to software and media solutions providers ANT and OpenTV.
The cross-industry consortium was formed to bring the disparate areas of the emerging new broadcast industry together to effectively manage the rapidly increasing amount of available content emerging across various platforms. It is based on elements of existing standards and web technologies including OIPF (Open IPTV Forum), CEA, DVB and W3C.

“HbbTV will build on the success of the existing SD teletext service which is used by more than 14 million consumers each day in Germany by providing a high quality video text service more suited to HD receivers. It will deliver an open platform for broadcasters, manufacturers and service providers to deliver value added on-demand services to consumers of digital content,” said Klaus Illgner-Fehns, MD, Institut fur Rundfunktechnik.
He said the HbbTV merges broadcasting and broadband services seamlessly to deliver value added content such as web and on demand in addition to traditional linear broadcast TV. 
The concept mirrors the Project Canvas initiative being developed in the UK, primarily by the BBC. HbbTV’s proposed services include “catch-up TV, video on demand, interactive advertising, personalization, voting, games and social networking as well as program-related services such as digital text and EPGs”.
The HbbTV platform is open to all broadcasting technologies including satellite, cable and terrestrial networks.
HbbTV applications from broadcasters will be demoed at Berlin’s IFA show from September 4.