Trade groupings the Smart TV Alliance and HbbTV Association are to merge the activities of the Smart TV Alliance into HbbTV, extending the scope of the HbbTV Specification to address Over-The-Top Services. The pair say their combined forces will streamline standards for OTT innovation so consumers can enjoy ever more interactive experiences on their connected TV devices.
The Smart TV Alliance and HbbTV have enjoyed strong success as independent organisations. Today, there are over 58 million connected TVs around the world compatible with the Smart TV Alliance specification and more than 6,000 developers have registered to use the specification. Thirty million devices use the HbbTV specification to access 250 apps deployed in 20 countries. The pair say the combined leadership of the organisations will bring a more efficient approach for developing OTT services across the industry for manufacturers, broadcasters, content producers and developers.
The harmonisation of activities will aim to enable developers to create applications for broadcast and broadband delivery via connected TV or set-top-box using a common HbbTV Specification. The HbbTV and STA organisations have already started technical collaborations and the necessary administrative actions to finalise this arrangement are expected to be finalised within a year of this announcement.
“Our combined efforts will bring a new level of innovation to consumer entertainment services,” said Merwan Mereby, president of Smart TV Alliance. “Consumers will see more TV applications and enjoy better interactive experiences when accessing entertainment or information services from their smart TVs or set-top-boxes.”
“Through the incorporation of Smart TV Alliance’s activities, HbbTV will be able to address the combined scope of broadcast and Over-The-Top Services with a shared focus on delivering the HbbTV Specification that best meets the needs of these converging markets,” said Dr. Klaus Illgner, chairman of the HbbTV Association Steering Group.