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EBU Pushes Hybrid Broadcast/Broadband TV

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: The European Broadcasting Union is offering members generic applications to deploy hybrid broadcast/broadband TV, or HbbTV, during the London Olympics and the Eurovision Song Contest, when audiences peak.

EBU says “three white label interactive applications will be provided free to participating EBU members to customize generic content for entertainment, news or sport.” Applications from EBU members ARD/IRT--the German Institute for Broadcasting Technology--and commercial partners DotScreen (similar to ConnecTV in the United States) and Spain’s Abertis Telecom “will provide a basic level of hybrid interactivity to promote the adoption of HbbTV, which combines traditional viewing with the added value of the Internet and smart device applications,” EBU said.

HbbTV will enable new services on the TV screen such as catch-up TV, video-on-demand, interactive advertising, personalization, voting, gaming, social networking, as well as program-related services such as digital text and electronic program guides, according to EBU. 

EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre said more than 20 EBU members are participating in an HbbTV roll-out this year.

“Underlying this co-operation is the shared conviction that only high-quality creative content can breathe life into the promise of hybrid technology--and only a flexible, cross-border approach will make it happen quickly,” she said.

The Members of this initiative are ARMTV (Armenia), ORF (Austria), RTBF (Belgium), HRT (Croatia), CyBC (Cyrus), Czech TV (Czech Republic), DR (Denmark), YLE (Finland), France Televisions, ARD & ZDF (Germany), MTV Magyar Radio (Hungary), RTE (Ireland), RAI (Italy), Radiotelevizija Crne Gore (Montenegro), OMROEP (Netherlands), NRK (Norway), TVP (Poland), TVR (Romania), Rozhlas (Slovakia), RTVSLO (Slovenia), RTVE (Spain), TRT (Turkey), NTU (Ukraine).