The HbbTV consortium has today announced the approval of version 1.1.1 of its specification by European standards agency ETSI.
The approval of the specification, listed as ETSI TS 102 796, coincides with the formal establishment of the HbbTV consortium. The consortium charter, signed by all of the founding members, signals the opening of the consortium for membership for organisations wanting to become involved in the group’s activities.
The membership charter details such areas as the operational framework, activity scope, IPR policy, membership fees, voting procedures and associated terms. The opening of HbbTV membership enables new participants to actively contribute to the requirements, maintenance and development of the specification and to have early access to updates as the specification evolves. Members will also be able to contribute to the development of the HbbTV test suite, certification regime and promotion of HbbTV as a format. Organisations interested in joining the consortium should contact email@example.com.
The ETSI approval comes at a time, when connected TVs are becoming increasingly popular with consumers, as recent research suggests.
HbbTV was first announced in August 2009 with the aim of harmonising the delivery of broadcast and broadband services through connected TVs and set-top boxes. The HbbTV initiative now lists over 60 supporters on its website from broadcasters, software providers and consumer electronics device manufacturers. Following a number of product demonstrations at IFA and IBC, the first HbbTV devices began shipping in Germany in December 2009.
The Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), the French government regulatory body for TV, has also expressed its support for HbbTV with the introduction of interactive services and applications based on the HbbTV specification in France expected in 2011.
Klaus Illgner, chair of the HbbTV consortium said in a statement: “The approval of version 1.1.1 of the specification by ETSI, combined with the finalisation and signing of the membership charter, are important milestones for the initiative. The recent completion of the second HbbTV interoperability event also demonstrates widespread support and commitment from across the value chain for the HbbTV initiative.”