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HbbTV sets foundation for the future of TV services

The HbbTV Association has announced the release of the new HbbTV 2.0 specification, designed to pave the way for a new wave of consumer TV services.

The HbbTV Association has announced the release of the new HbbTV 2.0 specification, designed to pave the way for a new wave of consumer TV services based on advances including companion device support, HTML5 user experiences and support for advanced video delivery features like Ultra HD and HEVC. The HbbTV Association anticipates that manufacturers, broadcasters, and operators will begin introducing a new generation of interactive broadcast and broadband TV services in 2016.

With HbbTV 2.0, consumers will be able to enjoy a wide range of new services including:
– Advanced user experiences based on HTML5
– Viewing of video content across TV, smartphones, PCs and tablets
– Companion applications that enhance the TV experience with detailed program info, voting, play to screen and other use cases
– Standardised delivery of Ultra HD content with HEVC
– Improved accessibility of services with better support for subtitles in multiple languages
– Access to broadcast content captured to local storage in the receiver
– Support for consumer privacy

Broadcasters, pay-TV operators and OTT video providers will benefit from the many new features in the HbbTV 2.0 specification, including:
– Synchronisation of broadcast and broadband streams to augment the broadcast stream with additional audio channels and other advanced features
– Media and application synchronisation between TV, tablets and smartphones
– Secure playback for adaptive streaming technologies
– Support for new advertising models

To achieve these benefits, the new specification adds a range of new technologies and features including support for HTML5, DVB CI Plus 1.4, HEVC video and TTML subtitles. It also enhances support for existing technologies including MPEG DASH, DSM-CC object carousel, synchronisation of apps to TV and user input. It is designed to ensure that HbbTV 1.0 and HbbTV 1.5 applications will continue to work on HbbTV 2.0 devices.

It is anticipated that the test suite will become available in 2016, enabling the launch of HbbTV 2.0 compliant products and services that year.

Klaus Illgner, chair, HbbTV Association, commented,”With HbbTV 2.0, consumers will be able to explore a richer, more immersive experience with new applications, exciting user interfaces and support for companion devices. This is an important milestone for the industry and represents the efforts of HbbTV Association members who have worked to define the specifications for the next wave of TV based on HbbTV.”