Humax Launches New Set-Top Based on ANT Galio HbbTV Platform

--Box Began Shipping to German Retail Outlets Earlier this Month

Digital TV client software provider, ANT, said Monday that it has partnered with set-top box manufacturer, Humax, to bring what it claims is the first Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) set-top box to market. According to the company, Humax has chosen the ANT Galio HbbTV platform for its new iCord HD+ satellite set-top, which began shipping to German retail outlets earlier this month. The box is billed as allowing viewers to access a range of hybrid services including ARD Mediathek, Tagesschau, ARTE, Internet radio, Maxdome and Wikipedia.

The pan-European HbbTV initiative, which was announced in August (see the article published on itvt.com, August 31st), is billed as attempting to harmonize "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." Led by an industry consortium that includes software providers, hardware manufacturers, broadcasters and satellite operators (note: its founding members include Canal+, France Televisions and TF1; Germany's Institut fuer Rundfunktechnik; satellite operator SES Astra; OpenTV and ANT itself), it aims to enhance TV offerings with such interactive/hybrid services as VOD, catch-up TV, interactive advertising, personalization, games and social networking.

ANT announced the HbbTV version of ANT Galio in September, billing it as a "complete go-to-market" solution offering full support for HbbTV (note: see the article published on itvt.com, September 7th). "Humax's ability to roll out its HbbTV set-top box so quickly is testament not only to Humax's engineering excellence but also to the readiness of the market for hybrid services," ANT's EVP of sales and marketing, Richard Baker, said in a prepared statement. "Our continued partnership with Humax has enabled us to help them deliver the first HbbTV offering to market." Added Jeff Kim, managing director of Humax Germany: "We are delighted to continue our partnership with ANT. We are constantly looking to deliver engaging new services for customers and the ANT Galio HbbTV Platform allowed us to provide a variety of exciting new hybrid services to market before any other provider. We are particularly excited by the number of consumers that have already accessed our new portal service. The sheer volume demonstrates how ready the market is for these interactive services."

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