UK’s Digital TV Group looks to Europe with new Connected TV spec

UK industry association The Digital TV Group (DTG) has released the second version of its technical specification for UK connected TV products and services, in which it builds on the Hybrid Broadcast Broadband (HbbTV) standard which is enjoying a wave of support in Europe.

The second version of DTG’s D-Book 7 Part B references the latest version of the HbbTV specification and includes additional features to meet the requirements of UK service providers. The DTG will propose UK requirements to HbbTV for inclusion in HbbTV version 2.

“D-Book 7 Part B reflects over three years of critical industry collaboration to meet the UK requirements for connected TV,” said Richard Lindsay-Davies, Director General of The Digital TV Group. “The publication of Part B not only ensures world leading services for UK consumers but demonstrates our continued commitment to the harmonisation of standards across the European Union and the rest of the world.”

“This latest development is particularly important because it clearly references and builds on the most recent HbbTV standard, currently with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) for ratification. The DTG will continue to develop the D-Book as new innovations are discussed.”

The HbbTV project is a pan-European initiative set up by some of the continent’s leading broadcasters and equipment vendors to offer TV viewers an easy way to access both traditional broadcast and new broadband-delivered services through connected TVs and set-top boxes.

Several countries have already started introducing HbbTV-based trials and services, including France, Germany and Spain, and adoption announcements have so far been made in Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland and Turkey. Trials have also been announced in a number of countries outside Europe, including Australia, China, Japan and the US.

Despite this momentum, UK broadcasters are placing their weight behind the YouView platform which launched recently, and which has broadly the same objectives as HbbTV – that is to say, combining broadcast TV with broadband-delivered services into one easy-to-use interface available on retail devices.

DTG Council has approved the DTG to present (non-exclusively) the consolidated UK requirements for Connected TV to the HbbTV working group, and later provide technical solutions, for HbbTV version 2 and future iterations.

Richard Lindsay-Davies, Director General of the DTG, will be speaking at the OTTtv World Summit 2012 event taking place in London on 5th-8th November 2012. For more information and to register, please click here.

For our video interview with Richard, conducted at last year’s event, please click here.

Editor’s view: This may mark the beginnings of rapprochement between UK television providers/broadcasters and the HbbTV initiative.

Watch this space…

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