Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) Specification Submitted to ETSI

--Recent HbbTV Interop Event Saw Participation by over 20 Companies

Germany's Institut fuer Rundfunktechnik (IRT), a founding member of 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; satellite operator SES Astra; and software providers OpenTV, ANT and Opera Software), last week announced the completion of the first HbbTV interoperability workshop, and also revealed that the consortium has submitted the HbbTV 1.1.1 specification draft (a copy of which can be downloaded from the HbbTV Web site) to international standards body, ETSI. The spec is based on elements of existing standards and Web technologies, including OIPF, CEA, DVB and W3C.

According to the IRT, the three-day interop event, which took place at the organization's facility in Munich, saw over 20 companies "from across the value chain"--including broadcasters, software providers, and consumer electronics manufacturers--coming together to evaluate current HbbTV applications and implementations. Live satellite feeds containing HbbTV signaling plus test feeds, generated by the IRT, provided the framework for 10 companies to host their applications, the organization says, and over 10 manufacturers and software vendors performed interoperability testing against 17 different applications and more than a dozen specifically written feature test cases. A further seven test cases focused on application lifecycle issues, according to the IRT. "We're delighted to have had such a strong response to the first HbbTV interoperability workshop," the IRT's managing director, Dr. Klaus Illgner-Fehns, said in a prepared statement. "The number of companies involved this week demonstrates the momentum that we've witnessed since HbbTV was formally announced in August 2009. While we've already seen excellent implementations at IFA, IBC and Medientage Muenchen, the interoperability workshop gave further support to those involved in getting further HbbTV products and services to market. This first HbbTV interoperability workshop has additional significance for the HbbTV activity, as it occurred at the same time as the group submitted the 1.1.1 specification draft to ETSI. This means two milestones for the HbbTV project in the same week."