Dutch pubcasters start HbbTV tests

NPO, the umbrella organisation of the Dutch public broadcasters, has started the first HbbTV tests on the Canal Digitaal satellite DTH platform and on the Ziggo cable networks, according to Totaal TV.

The first HbbTV trials are very limited and can only be received with a handful of receivers on the Dutch market. The Sony Bravia connected TV sets with built-in satellite tuners that are certified by Canal Digitaal have HbbTV onboard. Also, a few satellite set-top boxes have HbbTV capability.

Major CE manufacturers such as Philips and Samsung will have HbbTV enabled sets on the Dutch market before the end of the year.

HbbTV ‘red button’ applications will be transmitted with all three national public networks, Nederland 1, 2 and 3. These could include an EPG for the public channels, with ‘now’ and ‘next’ information, access the catch-up TV and many more functionalities including the possibility to create ‘my TV’, a personalised EPG to linear and on-demand programming.

The NPO has developed a prototype ‘lean back navigation’ with two cross bars, one for left to right and one for up and down navigation. “We have chosen HbbTV as it is the de facto standard – and because of the fast uptake,” according to Bram Tullemans, senior policy advisor research and development, NPO. “Also, because it is a single development platform. The ETSI HbbTV specs are based on existing standards and technology.”