Seven companies, including heavyweight Google, have joined the HbbTV Association who is creating a hybrid system for delivery of broadcast and streaming video through Smart TVs and set-top boxes.
HbbTV in 44m consumer devices
If you live in Europe you have probably encountered HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast broadband TV) in some form or another. You may even use it on a regular basis to access a library of TV programs by clicking the red button on the remote control.
The HbbTV Association says that over 44 million consumer devices (Smart TVs and set-top boxes) support HbbTV across 35 countries. Seven new companies have joined in the past 12 months, bringing the total up to 70, the association said.
- "We are excited about these high-profile companies joining HbbTV Association. The continuing strong interest by major market players in our open specifications confirms our approach towards establishing HbbTV as a universal standard for hybrid broadcast and broadband services across all screens," said Vincent Grivet (TDF), Chair of the HbbTV Association.
The seven new companies are Google, European pay-TV broadcaster Sky, Italian public broadcaster RAI, Greek public broadcaster ERT, Italian technology solutions provider Kineton, Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer Skyworth, and one unnamed company.
The most significant addition is of course Google. The company is currently developing the Android TV operating system, and many of its TV partners, including Sony and Philips, offer HbbTV support in their TVs. By joining the association, Google will be able to more tightly integrate HbbTV with Android TV.
While HbbTV offers advantages to viewers such as the ability to stream TV programs on-demand by clicking the red button on the remote control, it also equips broadcast networks with tools to track viewer habits and serve targeted ads on their TV channels. The first implementation of ads via HbbTV was introduced in 2016.
- As an open standard, HbbTV reaches viewers across different platforms and reception devices, enabling broadcasters to maximise the reach and monetisation opportunities of their interactive services, the HbbTV Association said.
Other members of the HbbTV Association include BBC, Hisense, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, TP Vision (Philips), and TP Vision.