DTG mandates HbbTV

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The DTG has released D-Book 12.6 – the latest update to the universally-deployed standard in UK Digital Television.

Created with industry, continually reviewed, and updated annually, the D-Book sets out the technical interoperability requirements for digital terrestrial and hybrid delivery television in the UK, underpinning Freeview, YouView, Freesat, EE TV, BT TV and TalkTalk TV.

The TV ecosystem continues to evolve and innovate, and the D-Book is no different, mapping and matching those changes at pace.

In the past year, the D-Book successfully supported the clearance of the 700 MHz band – which was completed in August 2020.

D-Book 9 was the first standard to introduce the optional support of HbbTV. That becomes mandatory (HbbTV 2.0.2) in D-Book 12.6 as the transition from MHEG continues, with the latter now optional in the standard.

According to the DTG, this is an exciting step towards the future of TV and more immersive and interactive TV applications. It also offers a unified standard that opens the market to a whole new range of services, while ensuring harmonisation with European and other international markets.

“As we consider the future of television and how viewers access, consume and interact with TV it is clear that we need both agility and stability,” stated Richard Lindsay-Davies, Chief Executive, DTG.

“The latest update to the D-Book – which remains the only technical standard universally deployed in UK televisions – mandates HbbTV for the first time,” he advised.

“It means version 12.6 underpins and supports all innovative digital services, networks and devices in an increasingly globalised IP/broadcast TV market, while providing the stability and confidence industry needs to deliver safe access and inclusion for all UK digital TV consumers.”

“From helping industry meet the new right to repair rules, to adapting to the requirements of new legislation and regulation that 2022 will bring, the D-Book, and the DTG, remains at the very centre of the Digital Television ecosystem,” he asserted.

“HbbTV is very happy and honoured by the trust the UK TV players and the DTG place in our specification,” addeds Vincent Grivet, Chairman, HbbTV.

“This signal, coming from a very dynamic and sophisticated market which has been at the forefront of developments in many areas, says a lot about the value of a modern, open specification capable of delivering all relevant interactive TV services expected by consumers today.”

“We are committed to keeping the specification up to the expectations and needs of the market, and we are convinced that it will continue to be recognised as being the right option by an increasing number of markets and industry players,” he confirmed.

Building on its effort continually to evolve and deploy universal standards, DTG Testing has developed a DVB-I test suite that will provide a robust interoperability test regime and metadata, to support the future of TV and transition to IP in the UK.

Each iteration of the D-Book standard and DTG Testing test regime ensures a level of reliability and quality of experience unmatched by any other horizontal TV platform in the world. This is underpinned by the seamless interoperability services with televisions, set-top boxes and recorders delivering new levels of performance on the Freeview platform.

“With millions of homes relying on Freeview and Freesat for their TV, the DTG’s D-Book ensures a consistently high quality, reliable viewing experience for all UK consumers,” noted Jonathan Thompson, CEO, Digital UK.

The DTG welcomes contributions from its members on the evolution towards hybrid distribution systems which will feed into the development of future D-Books.


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