Opera Software Joins HbbTV Consortium

--HbbTV Initiative Aims to Harmonize Broadcast and Broadband Delivery of Programming and Services

Browser specialist, Opera Software, announced last week that it has joined the industry consortium behind "Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV" (HbbTV), a pan-European initiative that describes its goal as "harmonizing the broadcast and broadband delivery of news, information and entertainment to the end consumer through TV's and set-top boxes with an optional Web connection" (note: other consortium members include Canal+, France Televisions and TF1; Germany's Institut fuer Rundfunktechnik; satellite operator SES Astra; and software providers OpenTV and ANT). The company says that its active support of the initiative will ensure the creation of standards-compliant, value-added, Web-based content and services, and that the goal of its participation is to create a "seamless, premium experience for end-users, with the simplicity of single-remote-control access to the entire range of TV services available."

According to Opera--which says that one of the first public demo's of HbbTV included the Philips NetTV, powered by the Opera Devices SDK--HbbTV is based on existing industry and technology standards that the company's Opera for Connected TV's platform largely supports, including OIPF, CEA-2014 and W3C. The company says that it expects its support of HbbTV to increase the amount of new, unique and interoperable services that broadcasters, online providers and manufacturers can offer to the viewing public. "Opera Devices SDK, the foundation of the Opera for Connected TV's platform, is a long-time, leading enabler of Web-based middleware, so it is natural for us to get involved at the core of the HbbTV initiative, helping to shape these new broadcast/broadband services," Opera chief development officer, Christen Krogh, said in a prepared statement. "It is our shared goal, through the HbbTV initiative, to aid the creation of a solid and effective technology and market structure where the amount of viable content is on par with ever-growing capabilities of today's advanced TV's and set-top boxes."