Having recently stepped up its activities in digital television transmission, Japan has now turned its attention to hybrid broadcast broadband services. The public broadcaster NHK is using its 2010 Open House technology showcase to demonstrate the Hybridcast services that fit in much the same box as HBBtv, Canvas and the recent iterations of MHP.
Hybridcast supplements broadcast services with content pulled in over a broadband communications network. A hybrid receiver adds the additional content to the stream including subtitling, sound and additional video.
Social networking and programme recommendation services are also a possibility, using a viewer profile to pull in recommendations based on the programme on-air and comments from other viewers. Programmes can also be bookmarked for later viewing on the TV, and also a PC or mobile terminal.
NHK STRL (Science & Technical Research Laboratories) is also working on a user interface that incorporates context recognition technologies to display content that they would want to watch based on their current situation. Image and voice recognition results are integrated with content metadata and time information to indentify the viewer and make inferences as to what might be appropriate content at a given moment.