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Intellect moots trial HbbTV Spec for the UK

hodg100

Distinguished Member
Intellect, the UK’s trade body for the high technology sector, has revealed its preferred way for aligning the UK with HbbTV, the hybrid TV standard that's very popular in Europe, for consultation with broadcasters.

Intellect thinks hybrid television could work seamlessly alongside the UK’s Freeview HD platform, for example, just as it is developing in France, Italy, Germany and many other countries in Europe. Lord Sugar, YouView’s Chairman, suggested at the service’s launch July 4 that YouView would effectively replace Freeview as the premier FTA TV platform.

Intellect’s initiative includes:

  • the release of a specification enabling deployed HbbtV capability on devices, within the UK DTT system;
  • the announcement of test stream made available and hosted by Intellect;
  • a beginning of a process of consultation and discussion with broadcasters and other stakeholders.

William Higham, director at Intellect, said that harmonisation with the EU offered more choice to UK consumers. “It brings the ability to connect and stream additional channels and applications from across Europe, whether Eurovision or local news from a potential holiday destination. Moving towards TV without borders also gives huge scale advantages to UK content-makers and technology companies, in short the UK’s vital creative industries. Today is part of a discussion with UK stakeholders about how the UK can be a leading part of the European television market again.”

He went on to say there would soon be millions of devices in the UK’s home that could activate their HbbTV capability, broadcasters across Europe such as the major French and German ones who could use it, and a “huge” reciprocal opportunity for the UK. “I hope both the Communications Review process and the new leadership team at the BBC will make it their priority to ensure the UK is the leading market in Europe for innovation in horizontal platforms, just as it was through the period of switchover. And we will only achieve critical mass for UK content makers and technology companies if we lead in such a way that the rest of Europe can follow,” he stated.

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