HbbTV - Europe is back in the game.
HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV
) is an European standard that was launched in 2009. Many experts think that the new technology is a more important breakthrough in distributing multimedia content than three dimensional television (3D TV).
HbbTV, a combination of digital television and the Internet, will enable the reception of satellite, terrestrial and cable TV channels, as well as access to new services such as video on demand (VoD), interactive games, electronic newspapers, YouTube videos, photo albums.
The television programs and new services will be selected via thematic portals (as the websites on the Internet today), with much greater choice than the current programming of TV channels.
Hybrid TV is based on existing standards and web technologies, including OIPF (Open IPTV Forum), CEA, DVB and W3C. It defines the minimum requirements that have to be met by TV sets, but allows for proprietary extensions made by individual manufacturers of television equipment. This way, consumers can choose among slightly different implementations complying with the standard.
HbbTV is currently available in Germany and France. In Germany, the number of devices supporting the HbbTV standard which were sold in 2010 reached 2 million (mostly TVs from Philips). It is expected that the number will double in 2011.