HbbTV drives transition to next-generation broadcast and OTT services
Paris, December 3, 2021 – HbbTV has now reached the status of a mature standard endorsed by broadcasters, platform operators and manufacturers to deliver next-generation broadcast and OTT services, but closer cooperation between industry players is necessary to facilitate more complete deployment of the specifications in the market. This was the conclusion of the 9th HbbTV Symposium and Awards which took place as an in-person event on November 24-25, 2021 in Paris, France.
The annual key summit of the connected TV industry, co-hosted by the HbbTV Association and French OTT platform Salto, attracted around 180 delegates to the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris. The conference provided first-hand insights by international top-level industry executives and experts, accompanied by an exhibition at which leading market players showcased their latest new products and services.
In his keynote, Vincent Grivet, Chairman of the HbbTV Association, underlined the relevance of the HbbTV specification in a fast-changing TV market, and highlighted major achievements like the Targeted Advertising (HbbTV-TA) and ADB2 specifications as well as the Developer Portal which will soon go live. He also invited market players to join the HbbTV Association to discuss and resolve the challenges which come with maturity.
One of them is the complexity and cost of device certification and verification, a process which is currently handled in a fragmented manner across Europe and does not cover all European countries. The issue of device conformance was underlined by Salto CEO Thomas Follin in his opening keynote, referring to Salto’s experiences during the introduction of its HbbTV service on the French DTT network.
During a two-part session on conformance regimes and interoperability, major European market players, broadcasters and manufacturers concurred on the importance of a robust conformance and certification process and also observed that if a pan-European conformance process would exist at some stage, it could be the source of significant benefits like reducing certification costs and lead times and providing more certainty on device compatibility and validation. They also observed that the implementation of HbbTV across Europe should be more aligned between the different countries to reduce technical fragmentation as the needs of consumers and broadcasters are essentially the same and do not justify specific local versions.
The conference also featured panels and presentations on experiences with HbbTV deployments, the commercial rollout of Targeted Advertising solutions, HbbTV OpApp best practice examples, innovations in HbbTV apps and the role of standardisation. In two keynotes, Paul Gray, Research Director at Omdia, provided an analysis of developments on the global TV market while Jon Piesing, Vice-Chairman of the HbbTV Association, provided insights on the next updates of the HbbTV specifications.
A round table with high-level participants from DVB, ATSC and NAB underlined the importance of a liaison between EU and US standard bodies and associations as an effective way to enforce messages and onboarding of TV set manufacturers and confirmed the willingness of the NextGen TV and HbbTV communities to collaborate.
The HbbTV Symposium 2021 also hosted the 4th edition of the HbbTV Awards, showcasing and celebrating excellence and best practice in the HbbTV community. The prizes were awarded at a prestigious ceremony on November 24. The full list of the winners of the HbbTV Awards 2021 can be found here.
For industry executives unable to travel to Paris, the HbbTV Symposium and Awards 2021 was streamed live on the HbbTV Association’s website. The event is also available as a recording: day 1 and day 2. The Virtual Business Area provides an overview of the sponsors’ activities and their representatives. Details on the conference programme, speakers and sponsors can be found in the event brochure (PDF). The presentations held at the conference and a photo gallery are available on the conference website.
The 10th HbbTV Symposium and Awards will take place on November 17-18, 2022.