HbbTV: Free-To-Air Internet TV To Hit ‘May’
Freeview, will go live with HbbTV, Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV service in May, AFR reports.
The technology will allow TV networks like Seven and Nine to deliver programs and new content over both broadcast and the internet.
It will launch under the name Freeview Plus, according to the report.
It means Smart TV viewers will now be able to watch and catch up TV, access new channels on demand, and other subscription content, and purchase items seen in shows (think Better Home and Gardens) and recommendations to viewers, all via the internet.
Free-to-air TV networks are coming up against competition from streaming services and cheap internet TV offerings from Foxtel, Fetch TV, but being able to offer a slew of new IPTV channels would be a massive revenue earner.
TV majors like Sony and Samsung are areas said to be readying Hbb TV’s sets for the Aussie market and viewers will be able to press a button on their Smart TV set to activate the internet TV service.
However, a Freeview representative dismissed the reported May launch as “pure speculation” and says it will be making an announcement about the rollout in the first week in March.
At CES 2014, several vendors showed TV’s and PVR’s with Hbb TV technology, including Samsung and LG. Hbb-ready devices are widely available in Europe and Asia.
Hitachi are currently selling Hbb TV’s in Australia as are Humax with their new line of DVR’s.
Channel Seven, leaders in the IPTV space, last month launched MeTV, an online health channel offering streamed and on-demand content via the Plus7 app, in partnership with Brand New Media.
The IPTV channel is still building up a following but as soon as HbbTV comes into play this year, it will take off, a spokesperson said.
Its a “massive opportunity” and will bring Aussie viewers on board to watching Internet TV on their Smart TV, given that content is a bit thin on the ground, currently.
MeTV already launched a channel in Asia which has “gone off” among tech savvy viewers there.
|Analysts Deloitte also say HbbTV Measurement, due to emerge in 2014, will boost networks ad dollars, as it will count those watching TV on tablets and smartphones.
“Hybrid measurement enables viewing on PCs, tablets and smartphones to be counted, and so picks up TV consumption, particularly among younger age groups, who are more likely to watch TV on these devices,” says Deloitte national media partner Clare Harding.
“These viewers have almost certainly been under-counted to date, which has not been good for the US$200 billion TV advertising market.”