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BBC boost for HbbTV

The BBC, working in collaboration with Freeview, Digital UK and the DTG, has announced that it intends to accelerate the adoption of international standards around interactive TV in the UK market. The Corporation says it has developed an “innovative” plan to move beyond legacy MHEG technology to industry-wide adoption of HbbTV 2.0.1 in time for equipment manufacturers to build HbbTV into 2018 product cycles.

As part of this, the BBC will remove the MHEG requirement from the ‘BBC Interactive HTML application’ specification, and work with industry partners to align other specifications such as the D-Book owned by the DTG, and the Freeview Play specification and Trade Mark Licence framework managed by Digital UK and Freeview.

Working in close consultation with manufacturers and other affected parties, a plan will be developed by the BBC, Freeview, Digital UK and the DTG by September 2016. It will then be shared publicly in relevant industry forums. The plan will include, among other things, the development and sharing of test applications to enable manufacturers to ensure correct behaviour of the new HbbTV-based services.

The BBC believes this approach addresses the feedback received to date from manufacturers while balancing the needs of audiences to drive the industry forwards and provide a better environment for UK free-to-air

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