Hybrid broadcast broadband TV (or “HbbTV”) is a global initiative aimed at harmonizing the broadcast and broadband delivery of entertainment services to consumers through connected TVs, set‐top boxes and multiscreen devices. The HbbTV specification is developed by industry leaders to improve the video user experience for consumers by enabling innovative, interactive services over broadcast and broadband networks. The specification uses elements of existing specifications from other standards including OIPF, CEA, DVB, MPEG-DASH and W3C.
In June 2014, the activities of the Open IPTV Forum (OIPF) were transferred to the HbbTV Association. This broadened the HbbTV Association’s mandate to include defining specifications for service providers and technology suppliers that streamline and accelerate deployment of IPTV services.
The HbbTV specification was developed by industry leaders to effectively manage the rapidly increasing amount of available content targeted at today’s end consumer. It is based on elements of existing standards and web technologies including OIPF (Open IPTV Forum), CEA-2014 (CE-HTML), W3C (HTML etc.) and DVB Application Signalling Specification (ETSI TS 102 809) and DASH. The diagram shows the relationship between HbbTV and other existing standards.
The HbbTV can work with either a broadcast or an IP link although it is most powerful when in a connected environment with a combination of broadcast and broadband networking.
HbbTV provides a rich and permanently evolving test suite as an aid for implementation of the HbbTV specification and selected other specifications that it references in receivers, e.g., TV sets.
This test suite has been designed with three main scenarios in mind:
While the HbbTV test suite is designed to be as clear, complete and comprehensive as possible and constitutes a major goal of HbbTV, it is not possible to guarantee that the test suite has a complete coverage of the specification. The test suite alone does not provide a definitive measure of receiver compliance and makes no provision for testing application compliance.
More information about the test suite can be found here.
HbbTV brings a range of new possibilities to consumers. There are a number of ways that HbbTV technology can be used, but a typical use case is as follows.
When a viewer’s TV supports HbbTV and the broadcaster makes available a “broadcast-related application”, the viewer will see a “call-to-action” in a corner of the screen. This might, for instance, be a logo showing a red button, informing the viewer that an app is available for launch at the press of that button. When pressed, the app – that was already resident in the TV – will be displayed.
The app may provide extra information on a program (e.g., sports statistics), show a program guide with the option to switch channels, or provide a menu with access to additional video programming. Other options include real interaction, for example multi-user quizzes where the user plays against other HbbTV viewers. The user interacts with the screen using a variety of buttons on the remote – the coloured buttons, the cursor buttons, and the numbered buttons. The newer, version 2 release of the specification also supports interaction through a mobile device such as a smart phone or a tablet.
HbbTV is a technology that enables professional video/audio content providers to deliver content to consumers for consumption on TV displays over broadcast and broadband networks. It uses elements of existing solutions including ones from W3C, MPEG, DVB, CTA and OIPF. The HbbTV specification and test suite are developed under the umbrella of the HbbTV Association.
The HbbTV Association is a cooperation broadcasters, operators, manufacturers and technology providers worldwide. Any organisation can become a member. Today the HbbTV Association counts around 80 members from all over the world. It is a non-profit association registered in Switzerland.
HbbTV enables broadcasters and other professional video/audio content providers to offer a wide range of services to consumers targeting TV displays. As well as services related to professional video/audio, HbbTV can also be used for information services that are appropriate to consume on a TV display.
For example, services like the following:
The main elements defined in the HbbTV specification are the following:
Many of these are defined by reference to specifications from other organisations and not by HbbTV itself.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a membership pack with additional HbbTV information and the membership agreement. The membership fee is €8,000 per year
There are many benefits associated with being a member of the HbbTV Association.
The HbbTV Test Suite is a set of unit tests for TVs, set-top boxes and software to be included in them. It tests against the requirements defined in the HbbTV specifications and other associated specifications (such as OIPF). It is suitable for suppliers of complete receivers and also suppliers of hardware and software components. More information here.
You need to work with other content providers & broadcasters in the same market and organise yourselves to establish a platform that can work with manufacturers to implement the ADB (Application Discovery over Broadband) specification. More information here.
The first thing to check is whether there are tests for Feature X in the test suite – there should be, a list is available on the website [link] – and if so, do devices pass those tests? If not, you need to liaise with manufacturers to ensure they pass the full test suite in future. Providing a complete test app to manufacturers using the feature in the way you expect is another good way of helping. Unfortunately, there’s probably little that can be done about devices already in consumers’ homes.
Please raise this to the HbbTV Association via the Testing Group. If you are not an HbbTV member, developer support is available at the developer portal [link] and contact details are available there.
There are a number of reasons why this could occur:
A result could be that a country doesn’t have services or a platform or trademark regime yet, and without these the TV manufacturer may not provide the needed platform or platform features. Without provision of a forum and a mechanism to break this stalemate, the situation would perpetuate. HbbTV recommends that in this situation service providers or groups of service providers in that territory provide a forum for manufacturers to communicate with the service providers. Activities in this forum could be sharing prototype applications with manufacturers to aid in their verification activities, and also to understand the opportunities and the service launch objectives of the service providers.
HbbTV services work in combination with a number of DRM systems in wide use, and the HbbTV Association provides the DRM Reference Application as an open-source example of how to design applications and content to work on as many devices as possible in the market today. HbbTV Specifications do not presently mandate any specific DRM technology, but they provide information and informative guidelines for integration of such systems. As with other optional features, support of specific DRMs and new or advanced features of such systems may not be universal and should be verified with device manufacturers. Ideally, DRM testing would form part of a platform or trademark regime but if not, the Reference Application has been tested with, and is designed to work on, as many devices in the market as possible.
In general no. TV sets are generally updated after sale only to fix critical bugs. Updates to add new features, such as a new version of HbbTV, are unusual. Updates to address issues arising from applications that were not live at the time the TV set was placed on the market would also be unusual.