France Télévisions rolls out first HbbTV apps

IFA 2011 – BERLIN. Following a successful pilot during the 2011 Roland Garros Tournament, French public broadcaster France Télévisions is launching a hybrid broadcast broadband portal and an innovative TV news applicatio based on HbbTV.

The news of the HbbTV deployment by France Télévisions follows massive introduction of such services by German private and public broadcasters. The French broadcaster is showing the newly introduced services at the IFA in Berlin on the stands of Philips, LG and Toshiba.

The portal, developed by WizTiVi, will be fed with news stories by France Télévisions’ newsrooms throughout the day and will feature international, national and regional news bulletins, up-to-the-minute sports reports, the latest video weather forecasts and a guide to programmes. A social media sharing facility is due to be added shortly, and extra features will gradually be incorporated.

Users will be able to access the portal, along with the DTT channels France 2 HD and France 4 and, as of a few weeks from now, all France Télévisions channels, via all TVs equipped with HbbTV, even if they are not internet-connected, by pressing the red button on their remote control.

In tandem with the new portal, France Télévisions is launching a catch-up news application for connected TV. Users will be able to access news bulletins broadcast on France 2, France 3 and 1ère during a period of 24 hours via an interactive facility that allows them to browse regional, national and overseas news bulletins by geographical area. The app was developed by Joshfire and will initially be available on Philips television sets.

Over the next few months, France Télévisions will be offering internet-connected viewers more and more features, apps and services to coincide with the rollout of connected TV.