SBS Launches HbbTV
From today, SBS ON DEMAND is available on Hbb-ready TV’s.
Hybrid Broadcast Broadband (Hbb TV) technology allows TV networks to deliver programs and catch up TV over both broadcast transmission and online, and offer viewers extra content, services and even purchase items seen in shows.
Currently Panasonic has the only HbbTV-enabled Smart TV on sale (TH-32AS610A ,TH-42AS700A,TH-50AS700A) while sets from Sony, LG, Samsung and TCL are on the way.
Humax currently sells internet-connected Hbb-ready set-top-boxes.
SBS launched the app launch in beta (pre-release test version). The catch-up viewing service currently attracts over six million video views per month.
The launch coincides with World Cup and Tour De France which kicks off next month.
HbbTV was tipped to be launched via industry-wide service Freeview Plus in May. However, this failed to materialise after rumours emerged about in-fighting between the free-to-air networks with regional networks WIN and Prime pulling out. The service is now said to be in final testing.
It was flagged as “one of the most important advances in free-to-air television in Australia since the introduction of digital TV,” by Liz Ross, General Manager of Freeview.
The SBS launch does not affect FreeviewPlus and a launch date will be announced soon, a Freeview spokesperson told CN.
All the free-to-air networks including ABC, Seven and Nine with the exception of Prime and WIN will feature on FreePlus.
Freeview Plus will have an electronic program guide, as well as catch-up digital services from free-to-air networks.
To launch SBS on demand app on a HbbTV, a ‘Red Button’ appears on screen on its three channels, SBS ONE, SBS2 and NITV. Pressing the red button on the remote will launch the new app.
SBS Chief Digital Officer, Marshall Heald, said “the launch continues SBS’s leadership in the on-demand and catch up television space with SBS ON DEMAND available on more platforms than any other catch-up service in Australia.”
“Adding SBS ON DEMAND to HbbTV-enabled televisions was a logical next step with the imminent launch of FreeviewPlus.” SBS say early-adopters of the new hybrid technology will be able to provide valuable feedback.
SBS ON DEMAND app offers unlimited access to documentaries, feature films, food shows, dramas, and news and current affairs.
Earlier this year, Channel Seven, launched MeTV, an online health channel offering streamed and on-demand content via the Plus7 app, in partnership with Brand New Media.