CreNova to Use ANT's HbbTV Platform for New Range of Hybrid Set-Top Boxes

--Boxes Will Enable Such Services as Interactive TV Advertising, VOD, Catch-Up

Cambridge, UK-based digital TV client software company, ANT, announced last week that Germany's CreNova Technology plans to build its new range of hybrid set-top boxes on the ANT Galio HbbTV platform. HbbTV--short for "Hybrid Broadcast Broadband Television"--is a pan-European initiative that was launched last August and 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." ANT is a founder member of the consortium behind HbbTV (note: other founder members include Canal+, France Televisions and TF1; satellite operator SES Astra; and software providers OpenTV and Opera), which claims that the spec is now supported by over 30 companies. Version 1.1.1 of the HbbTV specification was submitted to ETSI last month.

According to ANT, CreNova plans to implement an HbbTV retail strategy across Europe, offering set-tops that will enable consumers to access a range of advanced services, including interactive TV advertising, VOD and catch-up TV. CreNova bills its set-tops as offering a unique modular system design that allows them to be tailored to meet individual customer requirements. "It is clear that the future of the set-top box relies on delivering services such as catch-up TV and VOD in a user-friendly manner," CreNova CEO, Metin Atalan, said in a prepared statement. "HbbTV offers an excellent opportunity to deliver new services in a hybrid environment and we selected ANT as it has played a key role in the HbbTV initiative to-date." Added ANT's EVP of sales and marketing, Richard Baker: "We're pleased to be working with CreNova who already have a strong understanding of the set-top box market and are well-positioned to deliver a range of set-top boxes that can incorporate interactive new applications using the HbbTV specification."

In other ANT news: The company announced earlier this month that it has joined ETSI and the Digital TV Group.