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The HbbTV Association, a global initiative dedicated to providing an open standard for the delivery of broadcast and broadband services through connected TVs and set-top boxes, has announced that it will create a specification for operator applications. This specification will be based on the existing HbbTV 2.0 specification.
An ‘operator application’ is an application offered by a TV service provider that runs on a TV or a Set Top Box. It delivers the key elements of the television user experience – including channel navigation and a TV guide. These applications enable operators to provide a common set of services and a consistent, branded experience across a range of television devices. As the specification will be based on HbbTV 2.0, television operators will be able to develop their applications using commonly used Web technologies, including HTML5. The specification will be suitable for operators of any kind of TV service, including free or Pay TV, delivered over satellite, terrestrial, cable and IPTV.
The HbbTV Association has completed the requirements for this specification and is now proceeding to the specification phase. Enabling seamless coexistence of traditional HbbTV broadcaster applications and the operator application is one of the key requirements defined in this work; this is important to maintain HbbTV’s role as a business model-neutral technology platform.
Provisioning an operator-defined UI on a TV or STB will be possible where there is a bilateral agreement between the manufacturer and the operator. It is expected that a specification may be available by the end of this calendar year.
“The HbbTV Association is encouraged by the support it has received for extending the range of use cases that the HbbTV technology can support.” said Klaus Illgner, President of the HbbTV Association. ”
“We are extremely pleased and supportive of the work HbbTV is doing to bring standardisation to operator applications. For Freesat it presents an exciting opportunity to offer a branded experience to customers on a new range of devices” said Matthew Huntington, CTO of Freesat.