Seznam.cz has launched what is believed to be the first HbbTV virtual channel in Central and Eastern Europe.
The HbbTV application has been developed by Mautilus, which has been collaborating on the project with Seznam.cz since late 2015.
Technically, the project uses DVB-T for broadcasting the 360 Kbps video loop together with the small HbbTV application within the object carousel.
Essentially, DVB-T is used only as a carrier for delivering the HbbTV application to the viewer.
It is the first such service to be launched in CEE and is viewed by many as the most important industry development in the Czech Republic this year.
Seznam is one of the leading privately owned IT companies in the Czech Republic and owns and operates an AVOD service named stream.cz. As of this April it had over 1.7 million active users. It was accessed by around 60,000 users each month on smart TVs amd with the expansion of stream.cz into HbbTV it is hoped the latter will increase by at least 10-fold.
Meanwhile, Mautilus has developed dozens of OTT applications for HbbTV, smart TV, Roku, game consoles, set-top boxes and other big screen devices for many companies around the world including ShowMax, HBO Go and Voyo.